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The public is invited to the free March 7 kickoff of the Dearborn Public Library’s Big Read, a two month celebration of the memoir “Lab Girl,” with activities centered on science and other associated related themes.

This is the fourth time that Dearborn has received a NEA Big Read Grant to encourage citywide reading and participation in interesting, educational and fun events for all ages.

The Saturday, March 7 kickoff is at the Henry Ford Museum and runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

There will be crafts for children, speakers talking about different aspects of science and agriculture, and free copies of the book for guests. The crafts include tree decorating with your own personally decorated leaf.

“Lab Girl” is an award-winning memoir written by Hope Jahren, a geobiologist who focuses on soil, plants and trees. Her story is about a woman’s journey in the world of science, her friendship with her longtime lab partner, and her experience dealing with mental illness.

It is an eloquent depiction of navigating the world of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). By selecting this book, the 2020 Big Read Dearborn committee is hoping to inspire young students to explore STEM opportunities.

At the March 7 kickoff, Dr. Selena Smith, a professor from the University of Michigan with her own science lab, will be giving a presentation about her career. Deborah Reed, the curator of agriculture for The

Henry Ford, will also be there to talk about the importance of agriculture.

And because Jahren encourages readers to plant an oak tree, guests at the March 7 event will be asked to take cups of dirt and acorns with them to plant at home along with seeds from the Dearborn Public Library’s own seed library.

For more information about the Big Read Dearborn March 7 kickoff and activities through March and April, visit www.bigreaddearborn.org. An extensive wrap up event is planned for 2 p.m. Saturday, April 25 at the Henry Ford Centennial Library. The event is also free.

The Big Read program is backed by numerous sponsors. These include the City of Dearborn, Dearborn Public Library, Dearborn Community Fund, DFCU Financial, Green Brain Comics, Dearborn Public Schools, The Henry Ford, University of Michigan-Dearborn-Mardigian Library, Henry Ford College Eshleman Library, Arab American National Museum, American Association of University Women (AAUW) Dearborn, Dearborn Heights Libraries, Dearborn Inn, Dearborn Library Commission, Artspace, Friends of the Library-Dearborn, Beaumont Medical Library, Dearborn Historical Museum, East & West Dearborn Downtown Development authorities, Friends of the Rouge, and English Gardens.

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