SCOTTSBLUFF — The Lied Scottsbluff Public Library is about to blast off with a spaced out summer reading program for all ages.
Beginning with registration on June 4, the 2019 summer reading program A Universe of Stories takes flight. All children from birth through sixth grade can sign up for the program throughout the summer. If they register on June 4, they will be eligible for extra rewards. The first 100 registrants will receive the choice of two rewards.
Once children have read five books, they earn a ticket to a theater movie party, a Universe of Stories book bag, coupons for treats at area restaurants and an achievement certificate. By reading five books, they are entered into a drawing for a chance to win a Nintendo Switch video game.
At each level of books read — 10, 20, 25, 35 and 50 — additional prizes, coupons and tickets are rewarded. Any child who completes 100 books will receive a book to take home.
There are additional events throughout the summer for children to take part in or attend.
On Thursdays, everyone is welcome to hang out in the Library meeting room for A Universe of Activities. Each Thursday, June 6, 13, 27 and July 11, 18, youth who gravitate toward the library will experience a space adventure. Events are different each week and will be filled with skits, guests, stories, crafts, prizes and fun.
On Tuesday, June 11, at 10 a.m., Theatre West will present an original musical production. When the show is over, young readers will have an opportunity to drop by space station stopovers and talk to community stars.
Jon Amundsen, the Nebraska Space Ambassador to NASA, will be giving a presentation on June 13 from 10-10:30 a.m., during the Universe of Activities.
Special shows and events have been lined up for even more far out fun. On June 18, anyone who has read five books may attend the Midwest movie party at 10 a.m. On June 20, everyone is welcome to attend a magic show with Adam White at the YMCA Trails West Pavilion.
June 24 and July 29 provides an opportunity to lift off with Legos at 6 p.m. Award-winning musician Dino O’Dell will present his out-of-this-world show on June 25 at 10 a.m.
“His whole focus is about space,” Carlson said. “He was the perfect person to get for our program.”
The Riverside Discovery Center is joining with the library on July 9 for an Animal Planet Exploration program at 10 a.m. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
“Everyone will be able to use the Splash Pad and the Dino Dig,” Mackenzie Watson, teen librarian, said. “The staff at the zoo will also put on a presentation about the animals on our planet.”
There will be laughing and splashing on July 16 (6:30-8 p.m.) and July 20 (10:30 a.m. to noon) at the Westmoor Pool during the Splashdown Pool Party. Any space cadet who has read at least 25 books may attend one party.
Although everyone is invited to come to the weekly programs, attendance is not required and readers can return books to the umbrella desk for credit any time during regular library hours.
The reading program concludes Tuesday, July 23 at 7 p.m., at the Midwest Theater and will feature The Noiseguy, Charlie Williams, in a Lunar Toons Wrap-Up Party.
“Charlie Williams is amazing — using only a microphone he delights audiences with his noises and comedy,” Noelle Thompson, the library director, said. “His appearance will be the perfect finish for this summer’s program.”
Williams is known for his comedic sound impressions.
“He makes all these crazy sound impressions with his mouth when he’s talking to me and I love it,” Carlson said.
Following the performance, prize winners for summer activities will be drawn — along with the Nintendo Switch grand prize winner. No reading requirement is necessary, admission is free and the community is invited to attend.
Carlson encourages children to keep reading over the summer. Statistics have shown that children who do not read between the time when school is out and when they return to school, they can lose up to three months of reading skills.
“If you don’t like reading, we really want you to come because we haven’t done our jobs yet to find the right books for you,” Carlson said.
Each year, Carlson receives questions about having time to participate in the program, but youth do not need to participate in every program or event.
“Our events support the theme,” Carlson said. “They can do as little or as much as they want in terms of involvement.”
For more information or pick up a calendar of events, visit the Lied Scottsbluff Public Library or call 308-630-6250.