Kids get a chance to absorb culture and learn about community service as part of a new program at the Mulberry Public Library.

Wanda Meadors, a library supporter and former Alma teacher, started a new program at the Mulberry library to give local kids a chance to gain new cultural experiences and give back to their community.

"I want to expose these kids to a lot of things - experiences, leaders - and not just in Mulberry," Meadors said.

At least 20 kids signed up for the year-long program, Meadors said. The group is divided into two age groups, 8-12 and 13-18.

Meadors also created the program to draw kids to the library, she said.

Participants meet at the library once a month, and each month has its own theme, Meadors said. Kids are given a list of theme-related books that can be checked out from the library, she said.

Activities related to the theme, including field trips and work shops, occur throughout the month, Meadors said. For example, March’s activities center around community service and the Mulberry Edamame Festival, while photography is the theme for April, she said.

"I think there are so many things out there that are good for kids, and I want to expose them to that," Meadors said.

Both age groups attend various activities together and separately, she said.

Orientation for the program was Jan. 20, and kids filled out questionnaires about their interests. Kids are invited to attend activities, such as visit the Center for Art and Education in Van Buren, based on their answers.

"I know that there are kids who could really benefit from this," Meadors said. "They’re not overly involved in things, but they will see what it’s like to give back to others."

If the program goes well, it will begin again in January 2016 with a new group of kids and a new set of activities, Meadors said.