Walk through stories around town

Where to find StoryWalk displays around town

Above: Last year, 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)

While today Southborough is under a severe thunderstorm watch, that is expected to usher in more pleasant weather for the next two days. For those of you looking to get kids outside and off screens, I’m posting a reminder about some great options.

Five properties in town have StoryWalk® displays available for young kids. 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.

A sixth outdoor reading display is geared to older members of the public. That one is to educate the public on Southborough’s history. (You could consider it a walk through a chapter in the story of Southborough.)

Below are more details on the literary displays.

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 last summer. This summer’s selection is “Bee-Wigged” by Cece Bell.

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 in summer 2021 (photo by Beth Melo) 2022 selection for Library StoryWalk (image from Southborough Library website) Library Storywalk (photo by Beth Melo) 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 the following text and photo:

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 image right was contributed by SEF.)

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 and camp isn’t in session. (Camp is until 4:00 pm on weekdays through August 12th.) (The image right was contributed by SEF.)

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. (The image right was contributed by the Trails Committee.)

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