YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) —The Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County (PLYMC) has plans for cooking and Lego programs, thanks to $330,000 in grants that it was awarded.

One of the grants is funded is through the Ohio Department of Education’s Libraries Accelerating Learning Program. It will be used to purchase two Kitchen a La Cart mobile kitchens, which will be used as part of a healthy cooking curriculum. The kitchen carts will be used at various library locations for families, after-school programs and school-aged participants.

PLYMC and Salem Public Library are currently preparing the curriculum and plan to deploy the kitchen carts in the following weeks.

“Salem Public Library is excited to join forces with PLYMC to offer some of our youngest Valley residents the chance to learn about cooking and help them create a healthy foundation in the kitchen by teaching about and through food with culinary literacy programs,” said Brad Stephens, Salem Public Library’s director and fiscal officer. 

PLYMC also received a second grant, the First Lego League Grant, to purchase Lego Spike Education Essentials kits and iPads to help second through fourth graders explore the fundamentals of engineering with Legos.

Students will learn to design and code and create solutions to real-world problems with Lego bricks. The grant will also fund one full-time staff position for two years to support the increased programming.

PLYMC will also offer two Engineering Expos at Main Library in 2023 and 2024 featuring students who have participated in the program, as well as local high school robotics teams, engineering students from Youngstown State University and practicing engineers.

More information on this program as well as the Engineering Expos will be coming soon.