Teaneck Launches New StoryWalk™ at Sagamore Park

Library uses picture books to celebrate community’s rich diversity

Teaneck Public Library hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new StoryWalk in the Township of Teaneck’s Sagamore Park on Tuesday, November 10 at 4:30 PM.

The StoryWalk project, titled Together in Teaneck, consists of 20 displays, each containing two pages of a picture book behind a plexiglass surface on the theme of diversity and inclusion.

New Together in Teaneck StoryWalk at Sagamore Park.

Children and families were encouraged to read the stories by walking through the park and stopping at each display sign. Librarians from Teaneck Public Library will select new stories on the theme of diversity and inclusion and rotate the stories on a regular basis.

Council Member Gervonn Romney Rice (below) welcomed attendees to the ceremony and spoke about the importance of celebrating diversity and inclusion in Teaneck. Township Manager Dean Kazinci, and members of the Teaneck Rotary Club, the Library Board of Trustees, and the Friends of the Teaneck Public Library were also in attendance.

Council Member Gervonn Romney Rice speaking to attendees.

“The goal of this project,” says Library Director Allen McGinley, “is to celebrate diversity and inclusiveness in Teaneck, while also fulfilling the Library’s mission of promoting a love of reading, and encouraging everyone to spend time outdoors exploring Teaneck’s wonderful public parks.”

According to Amy Sears, Head of Youth Services, “StoryWalk installations are particularly valuable in helping young children develop literacy skills because they engage children in reading in a unique, active setting.”

The inaugural story is All Are Welcome by The New York Times Best Selling children’s book author Alexandra Penfold. Ms. Penfold spoke at the ribbon-cutting and read her book All Are Welcome to the children and families in attendance.

Together in Teaneck is made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this StoryWalk do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.

This project is also made possible by a district grant from Rotary International through the Teaneck Rotary Club, and in partnership with the Township of Teaneck Recreation and Public Works Departments.

The StoryWalk™ Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition (VBPC) and the Kellogg Hubbard Library.

For more information visit teanecklibrary.org/together-in-teaneck.

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  1. SORRY, but I’m opposed to the execution of this project for the following reasons.
    1. Each easel seems too high for children to read but at a perfect height to be read by adults to children.
    2. Each easel, painted in black and with sharp corners, seems designed for playful children to injure themselves. If they are injured, then the Township would be liable to be sued at taxpayer expense.
    3. 20 stations along the walk makes the job of reading the pages tedious and boring. How many who begin actually finish all 20 stations.
    4. How does this project actually “celebrate diversity and inclusiveness”? Sadly, good intentions on the part of adults sometimes shows they are out of touch with a child’s point of view. Were any children involved in executing this project? That might have been where diversity and inclusiveness could have been demonstrated and celebrated.

  2. Hi: I want to adjust my comments of yesterday. I am concerned about projects like this that may be there for the right reasons but may not be designed to meet its goal of “celebrating diversity and inclusiveness in Teaneck”. Who is doing the celebrating? Youth, parents, municipal officials?
    1. I am glad to see some rubber bumpers at the sharp corners of each. I presume all such corners will be protected.
    2. The arrangement of the easels is reminiscent of an obstacle course for young bike riders.
    3. The pages of the book displayed use the same font size as the book. Tough on young readers.
    4. The township should pride itself on the play equipment installed at Sagamore and other parks. Kids playing together meets the goal “”celebrating diversity and inclusiveness in Teaneck”.

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