Last Readers at Leaders Storybook Trail Dedicated to Woodstock Community Park

June 27—After a year of hard work and generous community support, the Leadership Lake Cumberland Class of 2020 achieved their goal with the Saturday dedication of the seventh and final Readers’ Trail to Storybook Leaders Trail at Woodstock Community Park.

Jessica Carlton, a member of the 2020 LC Leadership class, noted that Woodstock’s book – Tulip Chicken, Farm Hero – “fits perfectly” since Woodstock is a farming community. Author, Wesley Gift of Berea, and illustrator, J. Hammond of Georgetown, were on hand to greet families embarking on the trail.

This is Gift’s first children’s book but Hammond has already been published. Gift credited the illustrator with “getting this story from mere words on the page to really bring it to life.” Both were thrilled that Tulip was chosen for the trail to share with the kids.

“We really think it sends a message that it’s okay to be different,” Gift said. “It’s great to get this story out there for more people to read and enjoy.”

Carlton told the Commonwealth Journal that the success of the project led to the decision to turn Readers to Leaders into a non-profit organization.

“We’ve had such an impact on the community that we want it to continue,” she said.

The nonprofit’s goal will be to support other early childhood development efforts as well as periodically changing the books on each trail to keep the experience fresh. Carlton said future books would come from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

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