Walk through stories around town

by beth on August 6, 2021

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Above: The Library joined four other properties in town (Chestnut Hill Farm, Finn & Woodward schools, and the SRT) that encourage combining reading with outdoor activity. (photos clockwise by Beth Melo, Southborough Trails Committee, Lori Winer, and TTOR)

For residents looking for something to do away from screens, I’m posting reminders and good news. This summer, a display combining reading with outdoor activity was installed at the Southborough Library. Four other properties in town also have StoryWalks® available for children. A fifth display on a trail is geared to older members of the public.

This summer, the Southborough Library had a StoryWalk display installed. (If you’ve already explored it, you may be happy to hear that a new story was installed for August.)

If you aren’t familiar, StoryWalks take children’s picture books and split the pages across outdoor displays. The purpose is to encourage literacy and outdoor physical activity.

Looking at the details of the exhibits, I was reminded of a similar display skewed to older readers. That one, on a trail in town, is to educate the public on Southborough’s history. (Scroll down for details.)

Below are more details on the literary displays in Southborough.

Southborough Library
(On the lawn behind the parking lot at 25 Main St)

With financing by the Southborough Community fund and assistance from the Department of Public Works, the Library installed a series of displays earlier this summer. The first story selection was “also an Octopus”. For August, they inserted a new story, Eric Carle’s A House for Hermit Crab.

If you really enjoy reading outdoors, you can also check some books out and read them from the Library’s outdoor seating areas.

Storywalk launched at Library earlier this summer (photo by Beth Melo) Library Storywalk (photo by Beth Melo) August story on display (from Facebook) Frog Prince reading bench at the Library (photo by Beth Melo) outdoor seating and charging station at Library (by Beth Melo)

Chestnut Hill Farm
(On the trails off of 5 Chestnut Hill Farm Road)

The Trustees of Reservations installed a StoryWalk at the farm in 2019. At that time, they shared:

Chestnut Hill Farm Storywalk from June 2019StoryWalk is an innovative and delightful way for children — and adults! — to enjoy reading and the outdoors at the same time. Conceived as a way to inspire parents, teachers, and caregivers to take young children outside for physical activity and to learn, StoryWalk helps build children’s interest in reading while encouraging healthy activity for everyone.

Laminated pages from a children’s book are attached to wooden stakes, which are installed along one of our farm’s trails. As you stroll down the trail, you’re directed to the next page in the story. What a lovely way to enjoy the farm!

Before you go, check out the Chestnut Hill Farm trails map.

Mary E. Finn Elementary School
(60 Richards Road) 

Former Principal Randell at yesterday's dedication (contributed photo)The school for PreK-1st graders was the first Southborough location to feature a temporary StoryWalk display in 2016.

In 2019, permanent display cases were installed as part of an Eagle Scout Project and in collaboration with the Southborough Education Foundation. The first displayed story, All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfolds and Suzanne Kaufman, was dedicated to former Principal James Randell.

The StoryWalk is open to the general public when school isn’t in session.

Albert S. Woodward Memorial School
(28 Cordaville Road)

Students enjoying WW spring storyboard displayThe school for 2nd-3rd graders was the first Southborough school also began featuring temporary StoryWalk displays in 2016. A permanent display (also dedicated to former Principal Randell) was installed in September 2018.

The StoryWalk is open to the general public when school isn’t in session. (However, be aware that Southborough Recreation is holding its summer camp on the grounds this summer.)

For older readers – Sudbury Reservoir Trail
(On the southern border of the reservoir behind 84 Main Street, between Parkerville and Deerfoot Roads)

Alex Flynn Eagle Scout Project on Sudbury Reservoir Trail (from STC Facebook page)In 2018, a section of the SRT was cleaned up for walking along the reservoir behind the Burnett House. To help walkers appreciate the view, historical background was posted along the trail. Three signs were installed to educate walkers about the historic estate and Southborough. Each included QR codes linking to the Historical Society’s website.

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