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Grand Rapids Public Library

616-988-5400|| www.grpl.org

Upcoming Events

June 2017

Chasing Winds: A Breezy History of Storm Chasing Culture

June 22 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Main Library, 111 Library St NE
Grand Rapids, 49503 United States
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Storm chasing has become a widespread activity over the years, involving amateur weather observers, photographers, and meteorologists. Beginning with one individual in 1956, the history of storm chasing includes humble roots, personal adventure, scientific achievement, and tragedy. The culture fosters a fascination with extremes in atmospheric phenomena. Journalist and filmmaker Blake Naftel will share visual excerpts centered in and around West Michigan and Kent County. Historical tornadoes and severe weather events will also be included in the presentation.

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Summer Storytimes for Babies

June 26 @ 11:00 am - 11:30 am
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 11:00am on Monday, repeating until July 24, 2017

Main Library, 111 Library St NE
Grand Rapids, 49503 United States
+ Google Map

Parents and caregivers are invited to introduce their babies, birth through 18 months, to music, movement, and language in these 30-minute classes designed just for their specific developmental stages. Babies will enjoy hearing a story and learning songs and rhymes. Playtime after enhances the development of social skills.

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Pajama Time!

June 26 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 6:30pm on Monday, repeating until July 24, 2017

Main Library, 111 Library St NE
Grand Rapids, 49503 United States
+ Google Map

Get cozy in your pajamas, grab your favorite stuffed animal or blanket, and come to the library for a special bedtime event. Listen to stories, sing songs, and get those wiggles out before bed. Great for working parents!

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Cirque Amongus

June 27 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am
Main Library, 111 Library St NE
Grand Rapids, 49503 United States
+ Google Map

Discover the “big top” within you. Cirque Amongus will surprise and delight audiences with a combination of comedy, circus skills, and audience participation. Come join us for the fun and joy of the circus without the animals.

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Cirqu Amongus

June 27 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
West Leonard Branch, 1017 Leonard NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504 United States
+ Google Map

Discover the “big top” within you. Cirque Amongus will surprise and delight audiences with a combination of comedy, circus skills, and audience participation. Come join us for the fun and joy of the circus without the animals.

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Run Away to the Circus with Cirque Amongus

June 27 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Main Library, 111 Library St NE
Grand Rapids, 49503 United States
+ Google Map

Have you ever wanted to run away to the circus and learn all of the renown acts? Now is your chance! In this adults-only workshop, professional entertainers from Cirque Amongus will teach you the fundamentals of circus arts—juggling, movement and balancing. Try your hand at juggling balls, rings and clubs. Attempt to ride the unicycle and walk on stilts. Perform on the static trapeze. Learn rolling globe walking, spinning plates, diabolos, and a whole lot more! Come dressed to move.

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Japanese Garden Tour at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

June 27 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, 1000 East Beltline Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525 United States
+ Google Map

This 1-hour outdoor tour will explore the 8-acre Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden. Learn about the traditional elements and structures used in a Japanese garden and discover the thought-provoking Contemporary sculptures that make this Japanese Garden so unique. Space is limited. Tickets are available at the Gardens admission desk 1/2 hour before each tour. Show your GRPL library card to receive free admission and tour tickets.

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Cirque Amongus

June 28 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 pm
Seymour Branch, 2350 Eastern SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49507 United States
+ Google Map

Discover the “big top” within you. Cirque Amongus will surprise and delight audiences with a combination of comedy, circus skills, and audience participation. Come join us for the fun and joy of the circus without the animals.

Find out more »

Summer Storytimes for Families

June 28 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 11:00am on Wednesday, repeating until July 26, 2017

West Leonard Branch, 1017 Leonard NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504 United States
+ Google Map

Parents and caregivers are invited to bring their children up to 5 years old to this exciting class featuring literacy rich activities such as stories, songs, fingerplays, and hands-on fun. Classes end with a fun and creative art activity.

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Lids at the Library

June 28 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Madison Square Branch, 1201 Madison SE
Grand Rapisd, MI 49507 United States
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The Grand Rapids Griffins' "Put a Lid on It!" program and Safe Kids Greater Grand Rapids will visit the Madison Square Branch to distribute 100 free bike helmets to kids ages 1-12 (subject to availability). A parent or guardian much be present for a child to receive a helmet. For more information, call 616-391-SAFE.

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Cirque Amongus

June 28 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Yankee Clipper Branch, 2025 Leonard NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505 United States
+ Google Map

Discover the “big top” within you. Cirque Amongus will surprise and delight audiences with a combination of comedy, circus skills, and audience participation. Come join us for the fun and joy of the circus without the animals.

Find out more »

Cirque Amongus

June 28 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Main Library, 111 Library St NE
Grand Rapids, 49503 United States
+ Google Map

Discover the “big top” within you. Cirque Amongus will surprise and delight audiences with a combination of comedy, circus skills, and audience participation. Come join us for the fun and joy of the circus without the animals.

Find out more »

Summer Storytimes for Families

June 29 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 10:30am on Thursday, repeating until July 27, 2017

Seymour Branch, 2350 Eastern SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49507 United States
+ Google Map

Parents and caregivers are invited to bring their children up to 5 years old to this exciting class featuring literacy rich activities such as stories, songs, fingerplays, and hands-on fun. Classes end with a fun and creative art activity.

Find out more »

Summer Storytimes for Families

June 29 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 11:00am on Thursday, repeating until July 27, 2017

Yankee Clipper Branch, 2025 Leonard NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505 United States
+ Google Map

Parents and caregivers are invited to bring their children up to 5 years old to this exciting class featuring literacy rich activities such as stories, songs, fingerplays, and hands-on fun. Classes end with a fun and creative art activity.

Find out more »

Summer Storytimes for Babies

June 29 @ 12:30 pm - 1:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 12:30pm on Thursday, repeating until July 27, 2017

Seymour Branch, 2350 Eastern SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49507 United States
+ Google Map

Parents and caregivers are invited to introduce their babies, birth through 18 months, to music, movement, and language in these 30-minute classes designed just for their specific developmental stages. Babies will enjoy hearing a story and learning songs and rhymes. Playtime after enhances the development of social skills.

Find out more »

How Does a Work of Art End Up in a Museum?

June 29 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Grand Rapids Art Museum, 101 Monroe Center
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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Each of the 5,000+ objects in the collection of the Grand Rapids Art Museum has a unique history, or provenance. Some works, which were purchased directly from a living artist, have a rather short history, whereas others have taken long and circuitous routes into GRAM's collection. Registrar Julie Conklin and Curatorial Assistant Jennifer Wcisel will share photos, stories, and documents from the museum archives that bring to life the journeys of these objects. Discover what the back of paintings reveal…

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July 2017

Zine Making Workshop

July 6 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Main Library, 111 Library St NE
Grand Rapids, 49503 United States
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Learn about books called "zines" and how to make them. This workshop focuses on creating comic zines. Illustrator Rayne Klar will guide you through several basic tools for making successful comics, as well as production tricks for creating your own at home. For grades 6-12.

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Reading the Great Lakes

July 6 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Main Library, 111 Library St NE
Grand Rapids, 49503 United States
+ Google Map

Come explore the Lakes with us! We'll read a range of titles including mystery, history, fiction, and nonfiction all taking place in the Great Lakes region—from Chicago to Cleveland. This book club will be led by our smart librarians and will take place the first Thursday of every month. Additional copies of the books are available to be checked out on Level 4 of the Main Library. For a complete list of books, visit www.grpl.org/rtgl. July’s selection is Once in…

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Gin Tasting and Tour at Long Road Distillers

July 10 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Long Road Distillers, 537 Leonard NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504 United States
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Join us at the award-winning Long Road Distillery for a special event all about gin. Sample Long Roads’ three distinct gins, tour the distillery to discover how these fine spirits are crafted, and learn how to mix a great gin cocktail. Come see why Long Road won the Double Gold at The Fifty Best Gin in New York City in 2016. This program is for ages 21 and up and is first come, first served. Parking is available behind the…

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Wildlife Safari

July 11 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am
Main Library, 111 Library St NE
Grand Rapids, 49503 United States
+ Google Map

Learn about the super senses of the animal kingdom, including the American Barn Owl, Australian Sugar Gliders, and Siberian Lynx. Nelson's Wildlife Safari brings the wonder and excitement of animals in a truly unique hands-on encounter. Kids will see and touch creatures both great and small, while experiencing sights and sounds on a virtual trip around the world.

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Wildlife Safari

July 11 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
West Leonard Branch, 1017 Leonard NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504 United States
+ Google Map

Learn about the super senses of the animal kingdom, including the American Barn Owl, Australian Sugar Gliders, and Siberian Lynx. Nelson's Wildlife Safari brings the wonder and excitement of animals in a truly unique hands-on encounter. Kids will see and touch creatures both great and small, while experiencing sights and sounds on a virtual trip around the world.

Find out more »

Doors and Gateways of Grand Rapids Photo Walk

July 11 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Main Library, 111 Library St NE
Grand Rapids, 49503 United States
+ Google Map

Entrances take us into different worlds all the time—street to home, public to private. Doors and gates are symbolic in our everyday lives. Join photographer and artist Dianne Carroll Burdick on a photo walk of historic Grand Rapids. Learn tips and tricks for shooting urban architecture and discover interesting vantage points. Bring your own camera. All skill levels welcome. Submit your favorite digital photos from the walk to be added to the archives in the Grand Rapids History and Special…

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Wildlife Safari

July 12 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am
Seymour Branch, 2350 Eastern SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49507 United States
+ Google Map

Learn about the super senses of the animal kingdom, including the American Barn Owl, Australian Sugar Gliders, and Siberian Lynx. Nelson's Wildlife Safari brings the wonder and excitement of animals in a truly unique hands-on encounter. Kids will see and touch creatures both great and small, while experiencing sights and sounds on a virtual trip around the world.

Find out more »

Teen Council

July 12 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Main Library, 111 Library St NE
Grand Rapids, 49503 United States
+ Google Map

Take charge at the library! You are invited to join the Teen Council. Help plan library programs, share ideas about the teen collection, do fun activities, and hang out with your friends. Let your voice be heard and have fun too! For teens in grades 8-12.

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Wildlife Safari

July 12 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Yankee Clipper Branch, 2025 Leonard NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505 United States
+ Google Map

Learn about the super senses of the animal kingdom, including the American Barn Owl, Australian Sugar Gliders, and Siberian Lynx. Nelson's Wildlife Safari brings the wonder and excitement of animals in a truly unique hands-on encounter. Kids will see and touch creatures both great and small, while experiencing sights and sounds on a virtual trip around the world.

Find out more »

Wildlife Safari

July 12 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Main Library, 111 Library St NE
Grand Rapids, 49503 United States
+ Google Map

Learn about the super senses of the animal kingdom, including the American Barn Owl, Australian Sugar Gliders, and Siberian Lynx. Nelson's Wildlife Safari brings the wonder and excitement of animals in a truly unique hands-on encounter. Kids will see and touch creatures both great and small, while experiencing sights and sounds on a virtual trip around the world.

Find out more »

Threats Facing the Lake Michigan Shoreline

July 13 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Main Library, 111 Library St NE
Grand Rapids, 49503 United States
+ Google Map

Now is a time of great change for the Great Lakes. After almost 15 years of relatively low lake levels, water levels throughout the Great Lakes have risen very rapidly over the past three years. Low water levels produced wide, growing, and stable looking beaches, which have disappeared with rising water levels. At the same time, storms have increased in frequency and intensity, with hurricane strength winds becoming more commonplace. The number of fatalities due to dangerous waves and currents…

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The Science of Dark Matter

July 17 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Main Library, 111 Library St NE
Grand Rapids, 49503 United States
+ Google Map

What exactly is dark matter and what does it mean to our understanding of the universe? Join Paulette Epstein, Planetarium Manager and Staff Astronomer at the Michigan Science Center, as she discusses why scientists think dark matter exists. Learn what it could be made out of and the different detection methods available to scientists right now. A question and answer period will follow the presentation.

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The Gratitude Steel Band

July 18 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am
Main Library, 111 Library St NE
Grand Rapids, 49503 United States
+ Google Map

Explore the history and music of steel drums! The Gratitude Steel Band will perform a Caribbean Fun Time show. Kids will have an opportunity to play the steel drum and the show ends with limbo and conga line fun!

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The Gratitude Steel Band

July 18 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
West Leonard Branch, 1017 Leonard NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504 United States
+ Google Map

Explore the history and music of steel drums! The Gratitude Steel Band will perform a Caribbean Fun Time show. Kids will have an opportunity to play the steel drum and the show ends with limbo and conga line fun!

Find out more »

Bangarang Circus

July 18 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Main Library, 111 Library St NE
Grand Rapids, 49503 United States
+ Google Map

Located in Grand Rapids, Bangarang Circus is a collective of performance artists who share a passion for all things circus. They will transform the library into a circus arena and perform aerial acts, contortion and tumbling, acrobatics and flow arts, and much more. Come be amazed and astounded!

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The Gratitude Steel Band

July 19 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am
Seymour Branch, 2350 Eastern SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49507 United States
+ Google Map

Explore the history and music of steel drums! The Gratitude Steel Band will perform a Caribbean Fun Time show. Kids will have an opportunity to play the steel drum and the show ends with limbo and conga line fun!

Find out more »

The Gratitude Steel Band

July 19 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Yankee Clipper Branch, 2025 Leonard NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505 United States
+ Google Map

Explore the history and music of steel drums! The Gratitude Steel Band will perform a Caribbean Fun Time show. Kids will have an opportunity to play the steel drum and the show ends with limbo and conga line fun!

Find out more »

The Gratitude Steel Band

July 19 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Main Library, 111 Library St NE
Grand Rapids, 49503 United States
+ Google Map

Explore the history and music of steel drums! The Gratitude Steel Band will perform a Caribbean Fun Time show. Kids will have an opportunity to play the steel drum and the show ends with limbo and conga line fun!

Find out more »

Scandinavian Cooking with the Ginger Chef

July 24 @ 7:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Central Reformed Church, 10 College Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
+ Google Map

Join Chef Jen, the Ginger Chef, for a cooking class featuring Scandinavian cuisine. Learn professional cooking techniques to change up your weekly fare. Step-by-step instructions along with recipes will teach you how to prepare classic Scandinavian food. Enjoy a small plate tasting and learn culinary trained techniques in a fun and enjoyable atmosphere. Seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Parking available in church lot: enter church on east side of the building.

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Madcap Puppets

July 25 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am
Main Library, 111 Library St NE
Grand Rapids, 49503 United States
+ Google Map

There's no business like monkey business! Max and Vinnie are expert zookeepers, but keeping the rascally monkeys from getting into trouble is easier said than done. When Mr. Cleaver, the zoo manager, decides to send one of the monkeys to another zoo, it's time for their great escape! Travel with the monkeys as the explore new exhibits at the zoo--each one is a backdrop for exciting stories from around the world.

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Madcap Puppets

July 25 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
West Leonard Branch, 1017 Leonard NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504 United States
+ Google Map

There's no business like monkey business! Max and Vinnie are expert zookeepers, but keeping the rascally monkeys from getting into trouble is easier said than done. When Mr. Cleaver, the zoo manager, decides to send one of the monkeys to another zoo, it's time for their great escape! Travel with the monkeys as the explore new exhibits at the zoo--each one is a backdrop for exciting stories from around the world.

Find out more »

Madcap Puppets

July 26 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am
Seymour Branch, 2350 Eastern SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49507 United States
+ Google Map

There's no business like monkey business! Max and Vinnie are expert zookeepers, but keeping the rascally monkeys from getting into trouble is easier said than done. When Mr. Cleaver, the zoo manager, decides to send one of the monkeys to another zoo, it's time for their great escape! Travel with the monkeys as the explore new exhibits at the zoo--each one is a backdrop for exciting stories from around the world.

Find out more »

Madcap Puppets

July 26 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Yankee Clipper Branch, 2025 Leonard NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505 United States
+ Google Map

There's no business like monkey business! Max and Vinnie are expert zookeepers, but keeping the rascally monkeys from getting into trouble is easier said than done. When Mr. Cleaver, the zoo manager, decides to send one of the monkeys to another zoo, it's time for their great escape! Travel with the monkeys as the explore new exhibits at the zoo--each one is a backdrop for exciting stories from around the world.

Find out more »

Madcap Puppets

July 26 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Main Library, 111 Library St NE
Grand Rapids, 49503 United States
+ Google Map

There's no business like monkey business! Max and Vinnie are expert zookeepers, but keeping the rascally monkeys from getting into trouble is easier said than done. When Mr. Cleaver, the zoo manager, decides to send one of the monkeys to another zoo, it's time for their great escape! Travel with the monkeys as the explore new exhibits at the zoo--each one is a backdrop for exciting stories from around the world.

Find out more »

Scandinavian Cooking with the Ginger Chef

July 26 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Central Reformed Church, 10 College Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
+ Google Map

Join Chef Jen, the Ginger Chef, for a cooking class featuring Scandinavian cuisine. Learn professional cooking techniques to change up your weekly fare. Step-by-step instructions along with recipes will teach you how to prepare classic Scandinavian food. Enjoy a small plate tasting and learn culinary trained techniques in a fun and enjoyable atmosphere. Seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis.

Find out more »

Beautifully Wrapped: The Global Art of Headwrapping

July 27 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
LINC Gallery, 341 Hall St SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49507 United States
+ Google Map

Fold, place, whip around, tuck, pull, pin! Headwraps are a beautiful way to accessorize, protect your hair, and show a bit of style. Founder of Beautifully Wrapped, Zarinah El-Amin Naeem will teach you to tie your own headwrap and the unique history of wrapping across the globe. Bring a piece of cloth or use one of ours.

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Exploring Michigan’s Urban Legends

July 27 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Grand Rapids Brewing Company, 1 Ionia Ave SW
Grand Rapids, MI United States
+ Google Map

Take a trip into the strange world of Michigan’s urban legends and lore with local history enthusiast Amberrose Hammond. From ghostly to cautionary, these odd, spooky, and funny tales are part of our state’s folklore and history. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Seating is first come, first served. This program is for ages 21 and over.

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The Right to Fight and Serve: The Montford Point Marines

July 31 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Main Library, 111 Library St NE
Grand Rapids, 49503 United States
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In June of 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802, the first presidential decree issued on race since the Reconstruction era. The order barred government agencies and federal contractors, including the armed services, from refusing employment on the basis of race, creed, color, or national origin. For the first time, Marines would be required to recruit and enlist African Americans, who would be segregated to Camp Montford Point in Jacksonville, NC. The Montford Point Marines faced racism, hatred, and…

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August 2017

Samuel H. Ranck: Librarian at War

August 2 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Main Library, 111 Library St NE
Grand Rapids, 49503 United States
+ Google Map

When America entered World War I, librarians were called upon to provide balm to the triple psychological threat of war: boredom, terror, and grief. Samuel H. Ranck, Director of the Grand Rapids Public Library, was called to serve in France in 1918 and became the sole librarian casualty of war. While abroad, he took dozens of photographs and wrote hundreds of pages about his experiences and the people he met along the way. He captured insightful glimpses into the lives…

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Scratch Programming

August 3 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Main Library, 111 Library St NE
Grand Rapids, 49503 United States
+ Google Map

Interested in computers and video game? Want to know how computer programs think? Then come to this easy introduction to the Scratch programming language. Learn the basics of computer programming and get an in depth look at Scratch. You'll learn how to make your own computer game and gain skills to last you a lifetime! No prior coding experience needed. For grades 6-12.

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