BENNINGTON -- Museum ABC's is a collaborative program between Bennington Museum and Bennington Free Library that gives preschoolers, parents and caregivers a story time opportunity once a month.

Although the program ends in May, residents and their children can take a walk along the George Aiken Wildflower Trail at the Bennington Museum any time now through the end of June, and read a story along the way. Pages from the children's book, "Miss Rumphius" by Barbara Cooney, are posted at a child's eye level, rising above blooming bluebells, trillium, columbine and violets.

"The ‘storywalk' gets people to visit a trail they might not otherwise know about, at the same time providing a fun, free family activity," said the museum's director of public programs Deana Mallory.

"Miss Rumphius" features the life story of fictional Miss Alice Rumphius who planted lupine in the wild wherever she went to make her surroundings prettier, until returning at the end of the story, "She came home to live by the sea. You must do something to make the world more beautiful."

Mallory said the wildflower trail is the perfect place to appreciate the life lesson the story teaches.

"It promotes people spending time outdoors together; It gives families something to do; It connects storytelling with the outdoors, which people don't think about necessarily: Reading a story outside," said the library's children's librarian Linda Donigan.


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Museum ABC's takes place one Thursday a month for eight months ending in May, finished out by the "storywalk" and the start to the summer reading program at the library. The program will return to the Bennington Museum, 75 Main St., with "Portraits: Painting the People," on Thursday, Sept. 18, at 1:30 p.m.

Contact Tom Momberg at tmomberg@benningtonbanner.com. Follow him on Twitter @TomMomberg