The summer reading program at the Guffey Library is a great way for kids to learn and experience new fun things, as well as read some great books, over their summer break. This year’s theme was “A Universe of Stories.”

According to head librarian Rita Mick, the library got a $250 grant from the state and was able to purchase about 20 books of varying levels on outer space for the library. Some of the books included “ABCs of Space,” “The Night Sky,” “Mousetronaut,” “There’s No Place Like Space,” and “The Darkest Dark,” which the students read during the SRP.

Guffey Library’s SRP, a free program, was offered on four consecutive Tuesdays, with an average of 11 students per session.

The first session featured local resident Chris Peterson, owner of Cloudbait Observatory and science teacher at the Guffey School, talking about and demonstrating safe sun viewing through the telescope.

Peterson also relayed a lot of fun and interesting facts about our sun. The group also played a game called “Ring Saturn,” attempting to throw a hula-hoop around a large ball from a distance.

During the second session, the students made galaxy tie- dye T-shirts. First the students made a galaxy design, and then used markers of all colors to draw the design onto a T-shirt. Rubbing alcohol sprayed on the design makes the colors bleed together, said Mick, and drying in the dryer before washing and drying the T-shirts sets the colors permanently.

The third session was on constellations. The students learned the stories of some of the constellations and made up their own constellations, which they then drew in chalk on the concrete outside to be washed away by the next rain. The students also got to check their own birth constellation signs and learned the traits of each sign.

The last session was the end of the program and rewards day, which included the galaxy obstacle course. Space snacks included planet fruit K-bobs, space ice cream (freeze dried), galaxy movie mix, and watermelon stars on Popsicle sticks.

There was also a movie, “Space Jam,” with Michael Jordan, the basketball star, and Looney Tunes cartoon characters. The students also got their participation certificates and moon rocks, aluminum foil balls with goodies inside, to take home.

Each session, of course, included reading a book or two.

If you missed this summer’s reading program, plan on next summer’s library reading program.

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