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StoryWalk series coming to Boston parks

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Looking for something fun to do with the kids while getting some fresh air and enjoying Boston parks? Well, the City of Boston Parks Dept. is launching their first ever StoryWalk series that allows children and families to interact with books!

See details below via press release

Families and caregivers looking for a fun February vacation children’s activity are invited to head outside for the first-ever StoryWalk series in City of Boston parks, available starting Friday, February 12, through Friday, March 12. StoryWalks can be found in Brighton, East Boston, Hyde Park, Roslindale, and Roxbury, with a bilingual Spanish/English installation in centrally-located Franklin Park. Children and families participating are encouraged to wear a face covering, stay six feet away from others, and enjoy with members of their own household.

A StoryWalk is an innovative and delightful way for children and adults to enjoy both reading and the outdoors. Laminated pages from children’s books are attached to wooden stakes and installed along outdoor paths. As visitors stroll through the park, they are directed to the next page in the story. StoryWalks have been installed in 50 states and 13 countries and are now coming to Boston’s parks. Boston Public Library branches near the StoryWalks will offer activities for families to enjoy, including craft activities and live book readings on Facebook Live.

“Parks Department staff have been working to find new and innovative activities tailored to the current social distancing guidelines, and the Boston Public Library offered to lend the StoryWalk materials for installation in parks,” noted Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “Boston Parks and Recreation’s first StoryWalk is a great perfect way to encourage children to exercise and get some fresh air, while learning and discovering a great book. When City departments collaborate, residents win.”

The Boston Parks and Recreation Department teamed up with the Boston Public Library, the Highland Street Foundation, and the New England Patriots Foundation to produce a series of StoryWalk installations in five neighborhood parks across the city with additional support provided by Xfinity. The StoryWalk Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library.

The distance between stations will naturally support social distancing, but visitors are reminded to stay 6 feet away from those who are not members of their own household. Face coverings must be worn in public parks. If participants find the StoryWalk to be crowded, they are encouraged to come back another time or choose a different StoryWalk location.

StoryWalk Locations and Titles:

Brighton Common, 30 Chestnut Hill Avenue, Brighton

Book: “The Dot”

Language: English

Description: Vashti believes that she cannot draw, but her art teacher’s encouragement leads her to change her mind.

Boston Public Library Activity: Monday-Friday during Boston Public Library To-Go open hours the Brighton Branch closest to Brighton Common will be giving out up to 10 make-and-take crafts each day, related to the Storywalk. Families should call the Brighton Branch at 617-782-3062 before picking up a craft.

Franklin Park, 450 Walnut Avenue, Roxbury

Book: “If You Bring A Mouse to School”

Language: English & Spanish

Description: “If You Bring A Mouse to School” follows a boy and his mouse through a busy day at school.

Boston Public Library Activity: Monday-Friday during Boston Public Library To-Go open hours the Grove Hall Branch close to Franklin Park will be giving out up to 10 make-and-take crafts each day, related to the Storywalk. Families should call the Grove Hall Branch at 617-427-3337 before picking up a craft.

Iacono Park, 150 Readville Street, Hyde Park

Book: “Possum’s Harvest Moon”

Language: English

Description: A possum awakes one autumn evening and decides to invite his animal friends to a party to celebrate the beautiful harvest moon one last time before the long winter.

Boston Public Library Activity: On Friday 2/12, The Hyde Park Branch closest to Iacono Playground will post a craft activity video on their Facebook Page related to the book. This program will be available on the Hyde Park Branch Facebook page after streaming.

Adams Park, 4225 Washington Street, Roslindale

Book: “Clap Your Hands”

Language: English

Description: Rhyming text instructs the listener to find something yellow, roar like a lion, give a kiss, tell a secret, spin in a circle, and perform other playful activities along with the human and animal characters pictured.

Boston Public Library Activity: On Tuesday, 2/16 at 11:00 am, The Roslindale Branch closest to Adams Park will stream a Facebook Live Storytime on their Facebook Page, reading books and singing songs about the Storywalk, Clap Your Hands. This program does not require registration and will be available on the Roslindale Branch Facebook page after streaming.

Lopresti Park, 33 Sumner Street, East Boston

Book: “The Dot”

Language: English

Description: Vashti believes that she cannot draw, but her art teacher’s encouragement leads her to change her mind.

For more information on the StoryWalk Series, visit Boston.gov/StoryWalks.

For current social distancing guidelines in City of Boston parks please visit: www.boston.gov/news/coronavirus-covid-19-updates-boston-parks-and-recreation.

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About the Author

Maureen Dahill

Maureen Dahill is the editor of Caught in Southie and a lifelong resident of South Boston sometimes mistaken for a yuppie. Co-host of Caught Up, storyteller, lover of red wine and binge watching TV series. Mrs. Peter G. Follow her @MaureenCaught.