Tinker Tots
Every Friday 
Program begins at 11:00am 

Looking for some BIG Fun for your tiny tot?  Dance your wiggles out, dive into a story adventure and get messy with hands-on exploration that will tickle your senses.  Your tots will have a blast during this special time designed just for them.


Kanawha Valley to Read and Celebrate Burning Bright by Ron Rash this fall

 The Clay Center is a recipient of a grant to host the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read in Kanawha Valley. An Arts Endowment initiative in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. The Clay Center is one of the nonprofit organizations selected to receive an NEA Big Read grant to support a community reading program between October 2020 and June 2021. The NEA Big Read in the Kanawha Valley will focus on a variety of books for all ages including:

  • Burning Bright by author Ron Rash: Though the 12 stories in Burning Bright cover a wide swath of time from the Civil War to the present day, collectively they tell a story about Appalachia. And though they take us along the winding roads to the old homesteads and subdivisions of the American South, where “the region is a character in and of itself” and “myths and legends and history permeate every story” (BookPage), they also pulse with universal human emotions.
  • Missing May by author Cynthia Rylant: This book, intended for students in grades 6-8, tenderly takes the reader through the stages of grief as they are experienced by a young child. 
  • The Princess and the Pickup Truck by West Virginia author, Bill Lepp: This book, intended for lower level elementary students, takes a twist on the classic The Princess and the Pea. Isn’t it time there was a fairy tale aimed at girls and women who wear hiking boots, don’t comb their hair, and love pick-up trucks? The Princess and the Pick-up Truck is a modern retelling of The Princess and the Pea, but with an Appalachian slant.

“We have become even more aware this year of the important ways the arts help us connect with others, and how they bring meaning, joy, and comfort to our lives,” said Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “By bringing the NEA Big Read to the Kanawha Valley, the Clay Center will provide opportunities for deep discussion and ways to help us better understand one another.”

The Clay Center is working with partners including the Kanawha County Public Library, Putnam County Library, Step by Step, Inc., and the West Virginia Humanities Council to distribute copies of the book to community members. In conjunction with these partners, the Clay Center looks forward to welcoming author Ron Rash virtually to discuss his work documenting the changing face of Appalachia with a variety of audiences. These virtual book discussions will take place beginning in November 2020.  For details regarding these events and registration information, please visit the Clay Center online at  

Several hundred free copies are available and can be picked up at Kanawha County Public Library locations and the Clay Center beginning Friday, October 23rd during normal operating hours.