SAN JOSE – Recently Happy Hollow Park & Zoo (HHPZ) revealed five new “story stations” located near benches throughout the park and zoo, providing places for families to learn while relaxing and enjoying books provided by the San José Public Library (SJPL).
“The story stations advance the City’s Education and Literacy Strategy that aims to close the educational achievement gap and encourage literacy,” says Justin Long, Deputy Director of the Department of Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services (PRNS). “Happy Hollow Park & Zoo is a PRNS facility visited by close to half a million people a year which makes it a prime location to amplify the work done by schools.”
“The partnership between PRNS and SJPL benefits our community and many children,” says Councilmember Tam Nguyen. “It promotes the goal of ensuring children enter school ready to learn and read at grade level.” Danny the Dragon and Councilmember Nguyen joined the celebration, followed by a story about pollinators read by SJPL staff.
“We’re excited to partner with Happy Hollow and PRNS through our Library’s Early Education Team by providing access to literacy opportunities for families who visit the park,” says Jill Bourne, Director of SJPL. “We’re proud to have provided 800 bilingual books for the new Story Stations. The Library’s Early Education Team is also offering weekly story times at the park throughout the month, which have already been attended by over 150 people. We look forward to building our partnership with Happy Hollow Park & Zoo.”
To conclude the festivities, the Happy Hollow Park & Zoo conservation team invited guests to help release 10,000 ladybugs in the park.
“Ladybug’s are important pollinators,” says Long. “A visit to our park and zoo is always a fun, conservation action. Twenty-five-cents of every ticket sold goes directly to wildlife conservation organizations, including grants to create pollinator-friendly gardens in communities across Santa Clara County.”
The new story stations will include a variety of animal and nature themed books. Guests are encouraged to return the books to the stations once they are finished to allow other families to enjoy reading at the park and zoo. Special story times from the Library’s Early Education Team will be available Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at HHPZ at 10:30 a.m. during the entire month of May at Happy Hollow Park & Zoo.