StoryWalk at Woodward School dedicated to former principal

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StoryWalk at Woodward School dedicated to former principal
Former Woodward School Principal James Randell
photo/submitted

Southborough – A permanent StoryWalk has been installed at the Woodward School in Southborough, honoring retired principal James Randell for his 12 years of service to Southborough students and his dedication to literacy education. The dedication ceremony was attended by members of the faculties of the Albert S. Woodward and Mary Finn Schools who served under Randell, members of the Southborough Education Foundation (SEF), Southborough School Committee, Southborough Organization of Schools and other district staff.

The initial book installation is “A Fine, Fine School” by Sharon Creech. The ceremony was hosted by current Woodward Principal Steven Mucci and Literature Specialist Lori Winer. The theme of the dedication centered on how Randell was able to make both the Woodward and Finn schools, which were “fine, fine schools,” even finer and finer during his tenure.

StoryWalk combines literacy with physical activity. It is an innovative way to get people of all ages outside to read while getting a little exercise. The StoryWalk Project was created by Ann Ferguson, of Montpelier, Vt., and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library and the Vermont Bicycle and Pedestrian Coalition in 2007. In the 11 years since its inception, StoryWalks have spread to all 50 states and at least 12 countries.

According to retired library teacher, Jean Donlon, who first brought the concept of StoryWalk to the Southborough Schools, the program is a great addition to schools.

“We expect students to be engaged in literacy for substantial parts of every school day,” she said. “Since young children also need to move their bodies, StoryWalk allows them a chance to get a little fresh air and exercise as they enjoy a good story!”

The Woodward StoryWalk, completed thanks to a generous grant from the SEF, was installed as part of an Eagle Scout project by Alexander Forrest (who attended Woodward when he was younger), and with the assistance of the Southborough Department of Public Works. The SEF grant also includes funding for a second installation at the Mary Finn School.

Members of the community are invited to visit the Woodward StoryWalk when school is not in session.