Bring a StoryWalk to Your Neighborhood

Berkshire Athenaeum Has Pre-Made StoryWalks for Borrowing!

The Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield, MA has over 20 StoryWalks for patrons to borrow for free!  StoryWalks are great way to promote literacy in young children while having them engage in outdoor activities.

Reading a book and taking a walk outside share many similarities for children – they are, first of all, things that take place frequently in the life of a young person.  Stories and time outdoors are also ways that kids learn about the world around them.  Books offer a look into other places, contexts, and cultures, and can teach kids about virtually any subject.  Out-of-doors trips are learning experiences, too – kids observe their environment, learn how to interact with it, and make discoveries about the world.  So why not combine the two!?  A StoryWalk does just that!

What is a StoryWalk?

Originating in Montpelier, VT, the concept takes classic children’s books (think Chicka, Chicka, Boom Boom and Where the Wild Things Are), enlarges them, divides them up into sections, and then posts them throughout an area like a park, downtown district, or a playground for families to read while they explore!  StoryWalks are a great way for kids to discover new stories – moving from section to section allows time for kids to process what they’ve read, ask questions, and share their thoughts just as they might in between pages during a normal read, but without the sitting still necessary for read-alouds at home.

Local Resource to Aid in Hosting a StoryWalk

StoryWalks can be used at schools, community centers, and daycares; they add learning experiences to community events and festivals; and promote literacy and literary appreciation!  Wish you could offer one to your students, share one with your neighborhood, or add one to an event?  The Berkshire Athenaeum has pre-made StoryWalk portfolios for borrowing!  There are stories of all types, ranging from Jan Brett classics to books about counting.  Each set includes laminated posters, instructions, and other useful resources (including some added by fellow StoryWalk borrowers).

The Berkshire Athenaeum has over 20 StoryWalk portfolios available to lend, including these titles:  Read the rest of this entry »

10 StoryWalks in Western MA

StoryWalks in Western MA with Wee Read Berkshire County

Wee Read Berkshire County to sponsor 10 StoryWalks beginning April 16th, 2012!

Berkshire County is celebrating literacy during April!  In honor of National Library Week (4/8-4/14) and the Week of the Young Child (4/22-4/28), there will be StoryWalks featuring the book Duck on a Bike in locations all over Berkshire County.

The book tells the story of a silly duck and his trip on a bike – it offers opportunities for kids to predict what comes next, chime in with animal noises, and help read phrases repeated throughout the book.  Thanks to Wee Read Berkshire County, free copies of the book will be offered to the first 1,500 families who take part in the StoryWalks so that kids can enjoy the book again and again at home!  The StoryWalks, which will be offered in many communities, offer families a chance to enjoy a book together, spend time adventuring outside, and engage with their community by spending time within it!

April StoryWalks:

  1. Adams StoryWalk: Up from April 16th through April 29th on Park Street, ending at the Adams Public Library
  2. Berkshire Trail Elementary School StoryWalk (Cummington): Up from April 16th through April 28th
  3. Craneville Elementary School StoryWalk (Dalton): Up from April 16th through April 28th
  4. North Adams StoryWalk: Up from April 16th through April 29th on Main Street, ending at the North Adams Library
  5. Williamstown StoryWalk: Up from April 16th through April 29th at the Milne Public Library
  6. Lenox Library StoryWalk: Up for April 19th in downtown Lenox, ending at the Lenox Library
  7. Berkshire Athenaeum StoryWalk (Pittsfield): Up for April 24th
  8. Norman Rockwell Museum (Stockbridge): Up for April 25th
  9. Berkshire Mall StoryWalk (Lanesborough): Up for April 28th
  10. Great Barrington StoryWalk: Ongoing in downtown Great Barrington, ending at the Mason Library

Click here for more information.

StoryWalk Debuts in Northampton for Arts Night Out

StoryWalk debuts at this month's Arts Night Out in Downtown Northampton of Friday, July 8th.

Barbara Black, Northampton Public Schools Early Childhood Coordinator, writes: 

StoryWalk™ is an exciting initiative that combines a children’s story with a popular walking route. The idea was developed in September, 2007 by Anne Ferguson, a volunteer with the Vermont Bicycle and Pedestrian Coalition.

Here’s how it works:

We selected a children’s book, separated the pages, laminated them, and attached them to wooden stakes. We will then either post the stakes along an outdoor walking route or in shop windows – giving families with young children the chance to walk, talk, and read together!

Readers follow the story as they walk the route. It’s a great way to inspire parents, teachers, and caregivers to take young children on a short stroll that will be fun for all. StoryWalk™ helps build children’s interest in reading while encouraging healthy outdoor activity for both adults and children.

And, now we are doing StoryWalk™ in Northampton! Sponsored by the Northampton Public Schools, Community Partnerships for Children Council, Parents Center, and Lilly Library, there will be two StoryWalks on Friday, July 8 – and more in the planning stages.

Details for July 8:

July “Arts Night Out – the pages of a story will be in shop windows along the north side of Main St. – starting at Broadside Books and ending at Ben and Bill’s Chocolates.

Jackson St. Farmers’ Market – the Tuesday Farmer’s Market is trying out a Farmers’ Market at Hampshire Heights (Jackson St. and Bridge Rd.) from 3 to 7 PM on Friday July 8.  A StoryWalk will be posted along Jackson St. and near the Farmers’ Market.

Please join us!

For further information, contact Barbara Black at bblack@northampton-k12.us

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