THOMASTON — Thomaston Public Library starts the ninth year of 40 Days of Summer this month, with in-person activities after two years of mostly take-home projects and curbside pickup.

Conceived by a group of volunteers in 2014, this program was begun to address the lack of a summer food program for the school children of Thomaston and surrounding communities. Because of the percentage of children eligible for free or reduced lunches in Thomaston, we are able to take advantage of the Federal Summer Food Service program. Activities are central to the program to help bring in families that might feel stigmatized by accepting free meals, as well as to provide enrichment for the children during the summer.

Thomaston Public Library’s team has a lively slate of programming planned, including visits from Chewonki Foundation; Mr. Drew and His Animals, Too; Knox Museum; ecomaine; Pope Memorial Humane Society; and Sparks’ Ark Wildlife Rescue; not to mention many, many art projects, science experiments, games, tie-dye, books, and more.

40 Days of Summer begins Monday, June 20. The program, which is free and open to all children who have completed kindergarten, runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday (off July 4th), and includes lots of healthy snacks and lunch.

For the first week, lunch is provided thanks to the generosity of donations from community members. Starting June 27, lunch is provided by Summer Food Service sponsor Healthy Lincoln County. The program will continue until at least Aug. 12 and may be extended until Aug. 26. Children can attend for one day or all summer — advance registration is not required.

The library’s website — thomaston.lib.me.us — has lots of information available, including:

Registration forms

Advance registration is not required and families are not required to commit to attendance for any given day, but it will speed up check-in on the first day of attendance to fill out the emergency contact and information forms ahead of time. Forms are available at the library, or you can fill out the form online. If you choose the online form, the staff will have it printed out and ready for you to sign at check-in on the first day. If you have more than one child attending, fill out one form for each of them.

Tentative schedule

A tentative schedule available on the library’s website as well. Note some activities are weather-dependent, so changes to the schedule may happen. In case of rain, the program may move indoors and masks may be required, depending on current level of community transmission of COVID-19.

This program is made possible by grants including the Agnes M. Lindsay Trust, and generous support from local community groups and members, as well as the Friends of the Thomaston Public Library.