In partnership with the national literacy organization, Children’s Reading Connection (CRC), Ithaca Children’s Garden (ICG) has brought the book “All Colors of the Earth”, written by Sheila Hamanaka, to life through banners fixed along the Story Walk that begins behind the Bulb Labyrinth Memorial Garden at ICG’s north entrance.
This story celebrates the colors of children through the colors of love, beauty, and acceptance found all around us in nature. This is the first time this book has been used in this way to engage children, families, and readers.
Child development research shows the importance of using varied and rich words when talking to newborn babies and young children. This simple act can have vast impacts on that child’s literacy and intellectual growth for the rest of their life.
Brigid Hubberman of the CRC remarked, “This book is a celebration of all our interconnectedness. Everyone can see themselves in this book and it is this through that connection with the earth that we are better able to open our eyes and truly see we are woven together – what happens to each of us directly, happens to all of us indirectly.”
Many children’s gardens include literacy elements in their design. What makes this unique is the community accessibility to the book itself. There is a multiplying effect of the book’s impact to experience a story and share a story with others without having to own the book. Here we find synergy between literacy in landscape.
The combination of words, artwork and nature amplify each other. The book’s message helps illustrate ICG’s commitment to the values of diversity and equitable inclusion for all. ICG’s Executive Director, Erin Marteal, says, “We hope this exquisite children’s book, brought to life in the landscape in this unique way, will be a reminder of the beauty in celebrating diversity, both in the human world, and in the natural world, of which we are all part. We hope it helps illustrate that everyone is welcome here at ICG, in addition to being an enjoyable reading experience for visitors to ICG.”
For more information about the Walk-a-Long-Story installation, please contact Sophie at firstname.lastname@example.org or 607-319-4203.