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Building Literacy at California’s First Urban State Park 

Author: Veronica Silva Miranda

California State Parks and Parks California recently hosted a literacy event to celebrate the opening of a new StoryWalk installation with Carmen Bogan. During the afternoon, children listened to Carmen read her book, enjoyed a scavenger hunt and interacted with local community partners San Francisco Public Library, California Academy of Sciences, and Tree Frog Treks. The event was attended by families and students from nearby elementary school Bret Harte and local residents.

Virgil, a resident of Bayview and regular park visitor mentioned, “When I was growing up, we never had events like a StoryWalk or the library come out to the park. It’s nice to see that it’s being done for the youth now.” 

Through education, engagement, and community collaboration, Parks California and its partners are creating lively outdoor spaces that inspire, educate, and empower generations to come.

Author Carmen Bogan shared, “Candlestick Point SRA is the perfect spot to bring Tasha’s Voice to life in the Bay Area. Being here for the opening day of this StoryWalk was so special because I got to see the kids enjoy the park on a beautiful sunny day in a stunning landscape, and feel free to explore the joys of nature, just like Tasha does in the book. I am thankful to California State Parks and Parks California for leading such a fabulous gathering.”

Young people, in particular, experience a number of benefits from literacy initiatives in park settings, like this urban park –the first to open in California. Literacy-led events in park settings not only promotes education, improves literacy skills and builds emotional bonds amongst families, reading outdoors stimulates the senses. This multisensory experience can enhance cognitive development and memory retention, deepen connections with nature, and boost creativity and imagination while in a natural environment.

Tasha’s Voice StoryWalk will be on display until the end of October 2024 for parkgoers to foster a deeper connection with nature, learning, and exploration. Join with families and friends over the next few months to take the walk and enjoy a new story.