“As a grandparent, The Story Barn provides a place where I can go with my grandchildren to actually interact with them. They get something out of it, I get something out of it, and we leave feeling closer to each other. I’m grateful for this new place and all it offers,” says Jan, a grandmother of two from Enfield.
That’s entirely at the heart of its founders. The newly opened Story Barn at 952 Main St. in Somers is owned and operated by the Bowers and LaJoie Families of Frieda B., LLC, home of the national-award-winning “Frieda B.” series of picture books.
Frieda B. author Renata Bowers and business partner Paula LaJoie have long dreamed of building on the book series by opening a space for children, teens, adults, and seniors to come and creatively explore and celebrate their own unique stories, as well as the stories of the ones they love. When they found the converted horse barn on seven acres in Somers, their dream at last found a home.
“We cherish family, community, and story,” Renata says. “These are essential elements of a fulfilling life. We’ve created The Story Barn to provide meaningful events and a creative open space to explore … ‘Who am I? What’s my story? And how can I better understand and honor the stories of others?’”
With that in mind, The Story Barn offers events for every age and group, all led by Renata. There are Free Storytimes for families; multiple hands-on Workshops for ages 7-100 (Paula and Renata encourage a range of ages and generations working alongside one another); a Book Club for ages 21+, ideal for friends, co-workers, parents, educators, and caregivers; and Professional Development for educators based on the Frieda B. PK-5 curriculum for schools and homeschoolers.
All events require registration, as space is limited. Visit www.FriedaB.com/TheStoryBarn for the current calendar of events and for online registration. Free Open Houses also are scattered through The Story Barn events calendar, to give folks an opportunity to come explore the property and its offerings; these do not require registration.
In addition to scheduled events for the public, private events at the barn are available for families, groups, scouting organizations, schools, teams, and businesses. Those interested in exploring this option should contact The Story Barn at (860) 763-0330 or Info@FriedaB.com.
“Everything we do here is to encourage and showcase the significance of story – within individuals and groups,” says Paula. “Our motto is ‘Every Story Matters Here.’ To that end, we use written story to inspire human story and, in doing so, we hope to build and strengthen relationships within families and communities of all kinds.”
Learn more about The Story Barn at www.FriedaB.com/TheStoryBarn.
Upcoming events at The Story Barn:
Oct. 9, 3-5 p.m.: Free open house, no registration required
Oct. 9, 6-7:30 p.m.: Storybook Workshop (ages 7-100)
Oct. 12, 10-10:45 a.m.: Free Storytime with “Frieda B.” author Renata Bowers (registration required)
Oct. 12, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Free open house, no registration required
Oct. 12, 1:30-3 p.m.: Be You Boards Workshop (Ages 7-100)
Oct. 17, 6-7:30 p.m.: Be You Boards Workshop (Ages 7-100)
Oct. 23, 3-5 p.m.: Free open house, no registration required.
Oct. 24, 6-7:30 p.m.: A Different Kind of Book Club (Ages 21+)
October 26, 10-10:45 a.m.: Free Storytime with Frieda B. Author Renata Bowers (Registration required)
October 26, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Free Open House at The Story Barn (No registration required)
October 26, 1:30-3 p.m.: Storybook Workshop (Ages 7-100!)
*Registration required for all events with the exception of Open Houses