The Mary B. Grogan Fund, housed at the Greater Worcester Community Foundation, has committed multi-year grant funding to the Millbury Public Library to support its programming, totaling approximately $7,500 over three years.

The Millbury Public Library has offered many different science and environmental programs throughout the years, including animal petting zoos, reptile programs, owl programs, and dog sled programs. Now, with multi-year support from the Mary B. Grogan Fund, the library will be able to offer and sustain two science and environmental programs for youth in Millbury.

A Mission of Science

The Millbury Public Library hopes to serve up to 60 youth for each of the five science programs offered through A Mission of Science, designed to educate youth on various environmental/science topics. The planned programs wrap around the upcoming eclipse that is scheduled for April 8, 2024. Programming will be free and will start in April to July 2024, and includes the following:

Astronomy for Everyone: Eclipses & other Mysteries of the Universe

Wednesday, March 20, 2024 at 6 p.m.

Participants of this virtual program will go on a cosmic journey explaining the mysteries of solar and lunar eclipses. This 90-minute presentation will be led by Kevin Manning, former consultant for NASA and the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, a space telescope with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. All participants will receive their very own solar glasses sponsored by the SEAL (Solar Eclipse Activities for Libraries Community) program.

High Touch High Tech of New England - Life on Mars

Tuesday, April 2, 2024 at 6 p.m.

This fun, engaging, hands-on program will teach participants what scientists are looking for when they search for signs of life on Mars, demonstrating experiments with models of solar and lunar eclipses. All participants will receive their very own solar glasses sponsored by the SEAL (Solar Eclipse Activities for Libraries community) program.

Science Heroes - Saving Earth Together

Saturday, April 13, 2024 at 11 a.m.

This interactive STEM program will combine science and adventurous stories, presented by Professor Noble and the Science Heroes who must save their town and planet from a super-polluting mastermind. The audience will help the performer act out a tale and use the events in the story to discover and explore several exciting science concept, including Newton’s law of motion, air pressure, chemical reactions, and more.

The Importance of Bees

Tuesday, May 14, 2024 at 6 p.m.

This presentation will be led by a local beekeeper, John Hedley. He will discuss the fundamentals of beekeeping, key factors related to bees and the environment, starting a beehive, collecting honey, the physical structure of a hive, bee colony and its organization, and the importance of pollination.

Animal Adventures

Tuesday, July 9, 2024 at 6 p.m.

Animal Adventures is a Northeast leader in exotic animal education. The presenter will have various exotic animals to teach about wildlife and conservation. Tabitha the kangaroo will be joining as a special guest, sponsored by the Friends of the Millbury Public Library.

Community Sensory Garden

To encourage young patrons to explore and appreciate nature, the Millbury Public Library will be creating an ongoing sensory garden beginning this summer that will include planting and maintenance by youth or local community members. Each of the four garden beds will be dedicated to one of the senses: scent, taste, touch and sight. This Sensory Garden will be an extension of the library’s popular Sensory Storytimes, which is offered for groups aged 0-4 and STEAM programs for ages 5-8, and coordinates well the library’s Summer Reading theme of Read, Renew, Repeat. This theme will encourage youth to read as a restorative method of self improvement and self preservation.

The Sensory Garden offers several unique additions to the library’s programming. It will be the first program that will encourage ongoing community engagement. Young patrons will practice social skills by learning to work with other patrons while learning to care for a garden. This will also give young patrons a sense of responsibility for their library.

Furthermore, the Sensory Garden will be the library's first outdoor space designed specifically for ongoing outside programming, extending its programming capabilities. The Sensory Garden will be utilized for a myriad of programming that will include scavenger hunts in the garden beds, building fairy gardens, sensory play, growing vegetables, etc. It will be an integral part of the library’s Summer Reading program and many future Summer Reading programs.

We are thrilled to be able to expand our free programming in 2024. Many young patrons are drawn to attractive and innovative science education that allows them to explore and learn. We are deeply grateful to Mary B. Grogan Fund for the ongoing support of our work, and to the Friends of the Millbury Public Library for committing to any remaining funding needed to support our Sensory Garden project.

- Ann Dallair, Library Director