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StoryWalk® at Mount Hope Farm Ribbon Cutting

October 15, 2022 @ 10:00 am 12:00 pm

On Saturday, October 15, 2022, at 10 a.m., a ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place for the new StoryWalk® at Mount Hope Farm in Bristol, Rhode Island. This new StoryWalk® was made possible by a partnership between the Friends of the Rogers Free Library and Mount Hope Farm, as well as donations from interested community members. 

StoryWalk® is a delightful way for children, 3 to 8 years old, to enjoy reading and the outdoors at the same time. Pages of a book are installed along an outdoor path. As you stroll the trail, you’re directed to the next page in the story. The Friends of the Rogers Free Library has done several pop up StoryWalks® in the past, and all have been well received. StoryWalk® at Mount Hope Farm will be the first permanent installation, with books to be changed every month. Upcoming titles will be listed on the Mount Hope Farm website, the Rogers Free Library website, and on social media.

Ruth Maille, a local children’s book author and licensed daycare owner, is at the origin of this project. When she first found out about StoryWalk®, Maille thought, “What a great idea to bring literature and nature together, helping families spend time together!” She decided to reach out to the Friends of Rogers Free Library, which generously awarded her a grant to make this dream a reality. 

“Advancing childhood literacy is a primary goal of the Friends of Rogers Free Library,” said Peter Maloney, president of the Friends of Rogers Free Library. “We are pleased to support many library programs for kids, including the Summer Reading Program and putting free books in the homes of children through our funding of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. The StoryWalk® at Mount Hope Farm continues this effort.”

Dawn Jenkin, director of Rogers Free Library, shares in this enthusiasm. “Having lived outside of the U.S. for many years, I had never seen a StoryWalk® before coming to the Rogers Free Library. I have been so grateful to be introduced to them in a community already poised to add a non-traditional literature experience to its love of learning and language,” said Jenkin. “What an amazing experience for beginning readers and art-book lovers alike to engage in this appreciation of a story.” 

When the time came to find the ideal location, Ruth Maille could think of no better setting than Mount Hope Farm, a historic farm on 127 acres of land. ”When Ruth approached the Farm about installing a permanent StoryWalk® here, our Trustees met the idea with interest,” said Brenda Turchetta, executive director of the Farm. “Our Farm attracts many families who drop by to visit our animals. The addition of the StoryWalk® will enhance their visit and encourage them to return each time a new story (book?) is introduced.”

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will feature remarks from representatives of Friends of Rogers Free Library, Mount Hope Farm, and Ruth Maille herself, who will then read the first story to be featured on the StoryWalk®, her own award-winning book, The Power of Kindness. Orbit, the mascot of Ruth Maille’s book series The Power Of… will also be in attendance. Attendees will receive a free snack, and children will get a “StoryWalk® at Mount Hope Farm” tee shirt!

250 Metacom Ave.
Bristol, RI 02809 United States
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