Around the World with Cinderella

Buggy Kentucky
science + stories








What do a mole cricket, a Hercules beetle, a hummingbird moth, and a cicada killer have in common?

1. They are all among the estimated 10,000 insect species found in Kentucky.

2. Specimens of all of these and more will visit your school, library, museum, science center, or other Kentucky venue with Buggy Kentucky.

Storyteller Mary Hamilton and Insect Collector Charles Wright

an exploration of Kentucky insects
through storytelling, facts, and of course,
real insect specimens.
Your students will have fun as they learn
how insects breathe (hint: not through a mouth or nose),
where mud daubers lay their eggs
(hint: spiders don’t always win),
how some insects thrive by disguise
and much, much more in Buggy Kentucky.

But why take our word for it?
Here’s what a Kentucky educator has said:

“The Buggy Kentucky presentation by Mary Hamilton and Charles Wright fascinated students of all ages. The combination of storytelling, science visuals, and audience participation kept the students riveted. The program is based on Kentucky core content in science and in arts & humanities, but the students didn’t realize how much they were learning…they thought they were just having fun!”
Becky Nelson, School Library Media Specialist
Hearn Elementary, Frankfort, Kentucky

“This program was for our age group of 7-12 year olds. The performers were very knowledgeable in their field and kept the children enthused during the duration of the program. Mary is a great storyteller and Charles is very knowledgeable in the field of Entomology. They brought several displays with them that included actual preserved insects. The children were very attentive and asked several questions. Worth every penny.”
Regina B. Holland
William B. Harlan Memorial Library, Tompkinsville, KY

What happens when Buggy Kentucky comes to your venue?

Buggy Kentucky begins with a 45 – 60 minute presentation of insect images, facts, and stories, followed by an exhibit of insect specimens. If you need a detailed presentation description, just ask.  Each presentation also includes up to 100 free Buggy Kentucky bookmarks. Each bookmark contains a picture of an insect, a bit of information about the insect, the address for a University of Kentucky insect website designed for children and their parents to use, a reminder that books on insects can be found in libraries in the 595.7 section, and the lyrics to the Buggy Kentucky song sung during the program. 

For audiences of 100 or less:  We use 16” x 20” photographs – some showing magnified images of Kentucky insects no larger than a baby’s little fingernail.

For larger audiences:  We show the same images using Power Point and your projector, and we present the same stories and facts using your microphone and sound system. 

Buggy Kentucky Exhibit: 
After every presentation audience members have time to visit an insect exhibit in small groups. This allows everyone a closer look at actual Kentucky-collected insect specimens arranged in museum quality boxes. During the exhibit time, audience members are also able to ask more questions.

How does Buggy Kentucky fit with Kentucky’s educational programs?

Science – The Buggy Kentucky presentation includes information on basic insect anatomy, insect mimicry and camouflage, social vs. solitary insects, insect egg-laying locations, insect diets, and the relationship between form and function. When audience members visit the exhibit, they will see wonderful examples of carefully arranged, pinned, and labeled insect specimens displayed in museum quality boxes. They will also be able to ask more questions.

Arts and Humanities – The Buggy Kentucky presentation includes the performing art of storytelling and the visual art of photography. The stories told come from many cultures. They include a true story and folktales -- a pourquoi/why story, a traditional fable, a legend, and more. A riddle, a poem, a song, and a “Buggy Says” game are also part of the program. The photographs, including some taken with cameras attached to microscopes, provide visuals for the presentation and supplement the exhibit.

Kentucky Studies – Every insect included was collected in Kentucky.

Who are the Buggy Kentucky presenters?
Charles Wright (also Mary’s husband) has been collecting insects since 1991. His approximately 9000 specimen collection includes insects from all of Kentucky’s 120 counties. Specimens from his collection have been cited in eight scientific papers, seven published by the Journal of the Kentucky Academy of Sciences and one in Cicindela. He is a member of the Coleopterists Society, the Society of Kentucky Lepidopterists, and the American Arachnological Society. He received a Kentucky Nature Preserves grant to determine if the American Burying Beetle could be found at two western Kentucky nature preserves. He has made numerous research trips to the Field Museum in Chicago and the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh for the purpose of identifying Kentucky insect specimens. His insect expertise keeps Buggy Kentucky accurate!

Mary Hamilton (also Charles’s wife) has been telling stories since 1983. She has performed in schools and libraries from Florida to Alaska, including in 99 of Kentucky’s 120 counties. Her work has been featured at storytelling festivals and other venues throughout the United States. In 2009 the National Storytelling Network presented her with a Circle of Excellence Oracle Award for her storytelling. The Kentucky School Media Association awarded her the 1999 – 2000 Jesse Stuart Award for her storytelling in Kentucky schools. Her storytelling recordings have also garnered several awards. She is a member of the Kentucky Storytelling Association and the National Storytelling Network. Her storytelling expertise keeps Buggy Kentucky lively!

What will Buggy Kentucky cost?
$300  -- $600 (varies depending on how far you are from Frankfort, Kentucky) for a single presentation, 45 – 60 minutes long, plus exhibit time in single class-sized groups for those who have attended the presentation. For a single presentation in a school we can be available for the rest of the morning or the rest of the afternoon for exhibit time.  In out of school venues, we can be available for up to two additional hours for exhibit time following a single performance.

$100 for a second presentation and additional exhibit time: same location, same day.

$200 for an evening presentation and exhibit time: same location, same day.

$200 for an additional presentation and exhibit time: different nearby location, same day.

Weekly rates and other multi-day rates are available at significant discounts when compared to the single day rates.
Please contact us for a specific quote for multi-day and weekly rates for your venue or for your area.


Mary Hamilton, Professional Storyteller
65 Springhill Road, Frankfort, KY 40601-9211
Phone: 1-502-223-4523