WILMINGTON – On April 13 at 3 p.m., the Wilmington Memorial Library will unveil its new StoryWalk® project at Rotary Park. The grand opening of this children’s activity features a reading-while-walking adventure the whole family can enjoy. There will be refreshments, and library staff there will assist visitors and answer questions.
StoryWalk® was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in that same city. The concept is visitors begin a children’s story at the start of a designated trail and read posted pages along the way during their walk.
“What it involves is taking a book and disassembling it and, in our case, mounting it on fiberglass poles around Rotary Park,” said Barbara Raab, Wilmington’s Youth Services Librarian. “It provides an opportunity for a family to get together and read a book while walking around the pond.”
The fact it is outdoors and involves physical activity is another plus as far as Raab is concerned. And the activity directly supports one of the library’s current action items which is to encourage and support family engagement.
Raab is receiving help from local Girl Scouts. Allison Bolanos and some of her other troop members did the actual preparation of pages and will help install poles.
“I'm hoping to partner with Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts in the future to maintain this,” said Raab.
The library chose the book “In The Small, Small Pond” by Denise Fleming for the project. It is quite appropriate for the Wilmington StoryWalk® since it is about a child exploring the animals and insects around a pond. The plan is to keep it up for three months.
Raab says they will change to a new book every three months so people can enjoy four books each year. The books chosen will appeal to preschoolers and early elementary children, but also they will be fun for all the family attending.
StoryWalk® already exists in all 50 states and internationally in 12 different countries. There are many in Massachusetts, but this is the first one in Wilmington. It was approved by the Board of Selectmen.