editor’s note: Check out “The Big Read” at the Worcester Public Library and REC’s cool spring programs – some for Earth Day – others just for any day!
Worcester joins the “The Big Read”
By Worcester School Committee member John Monfredo
A great event will take place at the Worcester Public Library during the month of April and it merits the support of everyone in our community. It’s a kind of national month-long celebration of reading called “The Big Read.”
The Big Read is an initiative of the N.E.A. (National Endowment for the Arts) designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. It brings together partners across the country to encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment. The Big Read’s aim is to address this issue by providing citizens with the opportunity to read and to discuss a single book within their communities
Worcester is one of 400 communities participating in the Big Read and Umass Memorial Health is the lead organization for it in this area. They have partnered with the Worcester Public Library and with Worcester: The City that Reads. This year the book picked by local youth groups in Worcester is the works of the nineteenth century gothic writer, Edgar Allan Poe.
Throughout April, Worcester will be reading the short stories and poems of the master of the macabre. We are encouraging schools in the Worcester County area to participate and for those school interested, the Worcester Public Library has plenty of teachers’ guides available. We also hope that the public takes advantage of this opportunity and participates in many of the events planned for the Big Read.
The Big Read kicked-off on Friday April 9th with a masquerade ball at the Worcester Public Library!
Other events taking place at the Worcester Public Library:
April 15th – “Facts in the case.. Truth is Stranger than Fiction” – part 1 Poe is the “Father of Detective Stories” Hear real life detective stories from Worcester Police Department’s Deputy Chief Ed McGinn and Captain Roger Steele. They will talk about fascinating true mysteries and detective work.
April 22nd – “Facts in the case… Truth is Stranger than Fiction” – part 2. More tales from our police department.
April 29th – “A Descent Into…madness?” Poe’s psychologically thrilling tales examine the depths of human psyche. Was Poe himself mentally unstable? A UMass Memorial Healthcare representative will discuss mental illness.
April 28th at 7:00 p.m. -“Father of the Detective Story.” Dr. Susan Elizabeth Sweeney, Associate Professor of English at College of Holy Cross and President of the Poe Studies Association will discuss stories of Edgar Allan Poe. No registration required and there will be light refreshments.
Coordinators for these events are Sharon Lindgren, Director of Literacy, from UMass Memorial and Mora McAvey from the Worcester Public Library. Lots of time and effort has gone into making this event one of the highlights of the year at the Worcester Public Library.
These events are fun, educational and free. Hope to see you there!
REC’S EARTH DAY AND SPRING EVENTS!
REC’s Annual Spring Garden Festival!
April 10, 11 am-3 pm
at the Woo Church (Pilgrim Congregational)
911 Main Street (corner of Main and Gardner Streets)
Come connect with other community members to share tips, learn more about gardening and celebrate the beginning of this year’s growing season!
The Annual REC Spring Garden Festival serves as our kick-off event to the gardening season. We welcome experienced and new community gardeners, home gardeners and anyone who’s ever thought about growing a garden of their own or participating in a community garden. Come sit in on educational workshops, enjoy lunch and music, buy some seedlings and meet and chat with your neighbors and fellow gardeners.
This year’s workshops include:
Gardening 101: (taught by Casey Burns, REC Food Justice program Director) learn the basics of gardening, including key vocabulary, skills, and techniques to make your first season successful!
Unemployment and Food: (taught by Peter Friedland, Worcester County Outreach Coordinator, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project) explore how gardening and urban agriculture can provide valuable resources during periods of economic hardship.
Organic Container Gardening: (taught by Paul Split, Direct of Horticulture, Comcast Center) successful strategies for gardening when space is limited or soil isn’t safe.
This event is family friendly! All are welcome.
Help spread the word! Download our REC Spring Garden Festival flyer!
2. Green Run Fundraiser
2nd Annual 5K Green Run to Benefit the REC
Sunday, April 11th at Clark University
Registration starts at 10am
Race begins at noon
Organized by Clark student supporters of REC for the 2nd year in a row, this 5k run will leave Clark University at noon and will take place rain or shine! 117 runners participated last year, and organizers hope to double the number of runners this year! Each participant will receive an organic t-shirt.
Participants may register in advance or on race day from 10am until start time. Registration fee is $15. All proceeds will benefit the REC!
21st Annual REC Earth Day Cleanups
Saturday, May 1st
Join an REC Earth Day Cleanup in your neighborhood!
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day and the 21st year that REC has coordinated a day of cleanups at 50+ sites throughout the City of Worcester with the support of the City of Worcester Department of Public Works and Parks, National Grid and many other community partners.
YouthGROW applications due April 23rd!
Paid summer positions now availabe!
YouthGROW is an 8-week urban agriculture employment and leadership development program for youth ages 14-16! Help make our YouthGROW city farms grow! Learn sales, marketing, and business skills through the REC Farmers Market! Learn about urban agriculture, environmental justice and community engagement!
Applications are due April 23rd!