Bringing literacy to life
Latin Quarter Story Walk brings learning off the page
In celebration of Latinx Heritage Month, Hyde Square Task Force and the Connolly branch of the Boston Public Library have partnered to create an interactive story walk in Jamaica Plain’s Latin Quarter.
Through Oct. 15, children and their parents can follow the story “Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood,” by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell, while walking through the neighborhood. Each page of the book is hung at a different Centre Street business or historic site. Participants pick up a map at the Connolly branch library and answer questions about each location as they follow the map. Kids who bring a completed map back to the library receive a prize.
“Maybe Something Beautiful,” which follows a young girl who improves her neighborhood with public art, was an intentional pick. Sarah Brugge, community development and events coordinator at Hyde Square Task Force says, “We thought it was such a beautiful fit for this neighborhood. This is a community that has come together through making change. And the stretch where the walk is has a lot of murals.”
The neighborhood is also uniquely positioned to host the story because of its art exploration opportunities for children. In addition to Jamaica Plain’s plethora of public art pieces, Hyde Square Task Force frequently offers art-related programming and the group lobbied successfully for the Latin Quarter to be designated a cultural district. The nearby Urbano Project also caters to young people of all ages with workshops, activities and exposure to local artists. Both organizations focus on a multicultural art experience.
2018 marks the third year of the Story Walk program. This year it has been expanded to include two routes, one from Jackson Square to the Blessed Sacrament Plaza and one from the Connolly library branch to the Blessed Sacrament Plaza. Combined, these two routes cover all of the Latin Quarter. Brugge says it’s important to celebrate Latinx Heritage Month with the younger generation. “Particularly in regards to children, it’s important to pass traditions on and preserve culture,” she says.
The Story Walk has served as a learning tool for teachers who bring their classes along the walk to bring books off the page. “Literacy and books don’t just need to be in a library, they can be out in the world,” Brugge says. “Kids can make a change in the world, and so can art.”