SPRINGFIELD — Reading Success by 4th Grade (RS4G), Springfield’s community-wide early literacy initiative, is launching a new literacy project in Springfield, Springfield Story Walks, and will kick it off with a socially-distanced event at the site of its first installation on Oct. 13 at 12:30 p.m. at Gardening the Community, 200 Walnut St., Springfield.
The event will feature a ribbon cutting and brief program, with remarks from Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno; Chrissy Howard, Reading Success by 4th Grade manager; Ibrahim Ali, director of Agriculture and Youth Programs at Gardening the Community; Jesse Lederman, RS4G Leadership Advisory Group member and Springfield City Councilor; Zee Johnson, owner of Olive Tree Books-n-Voices in Springfield; and Molly Fogarty, Springfield City Library director.
There will also be a read-a-loud by Tyeshia Weir and Melissa Blissett, Family Literacy Advocate leaders.
The Gardening the Community Story Walk, located at the organization’s Community Farm Store, will feature local author Grace Lin’s The Ugly Vegetables.
The Springfield Story Walks project will feature original full-color pages from children’s books installed in outdoor community settings, where families can walk along a path and read together. Families are encouraged to view the Story Walk, which will be up at 200 Walnut St. through the fall. The StoryWalk concept was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. StoryWalk is a registered services mark owned by Ferguson. Reading Success by 4th Grade will be opening more across the city in the coming weeks, and again in the springtime.
Earlier this summer, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading announced that Springfield was recognized as one of just 21 communities nationwide to be recognized with national Pacesetter Honors for supporting early school success in 2019, with exemplary work in Big Tent Collaboration and Messaging and Communications. Springfield was also named a Pacesetter Bright Spot for School Readiness.