The Summer Reading Program at the Tarkio Library continued July 12 and 13 with a number of fun-filled activities and the reading of great books. The participants on Thursday enjoyed coloring a playhouse that was big enough for them to go inside. Pictured above coloring one of the windows is Taylor Anderson.

Pictured above right peeking out another window is Abi Anderson.

Ashton Lewis, passes out building blocks following a video on building a house.

Grace Oswald starts to build her first building out of wooden blocks.

Tyler McMahon holds tight to his mason jar that holds his “wormery” that he made with Tiffanie Gaines during summer reading.

Nash Schomburg and Ethan Hunter sit quietly and listen to Mrs. Cook read “The Lorax” during the second week of Summer Reading.

Miss Heitman works with Emma Teten while she attempts to clean the oil out of the “polluted” water.

2nd grader, Wyatt Huntley uses a hammer, nail and a small block of wood to practice “construction” which was a topic at Summer Reading on Thursday.

Rock Port:
An energetic group of twenty 3 and 4 year olds attended Summer Reading at the Library on Tuesday, July 11. Andrea Cook was their leader. She read excerpts from The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. The Lorax was angry, because all the trees in his habitat were being cut down. Cutting the trees destroyed the homes and food supply of all the creatures that lived in the forest. Once-ler, who cut all the trees, built a factory which polluted the water and the air. That drove the Lorax and his friends from their homes. Eventually, Once-ler regretted his decisions. Lesson learned: We all need to care about our environment (the Earth) every day or bad things will happen! The children also listened to Fancy Nancy Every Day is Earth Day by Jane O’Connor. The children learned the concept of going “Green”, and why we should all do our part to protect the Earth. They talked about things they could do to keep the air and water clean, and how they could save water and energy. They learned a little bit about recycling when they talked about items that would be good for compost, and items, such as plastic bags and bottles, that can be recycled to use again. At craft time the little ones colored pictures of the Lorax. Tawni Ellis and Malisa Linthicum assisted with this group.
Tiffanie Gaines began her program with the 5 and 6 year olds by telling a joke. “What is worse than finding a worm in your apple? Finding half a worm in your apple!” Are we going to learn about worms, today? First, she pointed out the Build a Better World mural on the wall and let the kids comment on what they observed. The kids were fascinated with the book Yucky Worms by Vivian French that Tiffanie read. The book offered many facts about earthworms and details about how they help our environment. Did you know that earthworm poop is beneficial to our soil, and is like a fertilizer that helps our plants grow? They found this to be icky but entertaining! Winnie Finn, Worm Farmer by Carol Brendler is about a girl who’s crazy about earthworms. Winnie wants to win a prize at the State Fair for her earthworms, but everyone reminds her, “There’s no ‘Best in Show’ prize for worms!” So Winnie makes a worm farm and shares her worm’s byproducts to help all the others win prizes at the fair. Activity time: one group of children made bookmarks for “bookworms”, while the other group went outdoors and made a “wormery” in a Mason jar. A wormery is made of rocks, dirt, debris, a little water, and an earthworm. The day’s focus changed to friendship. Ribbit! by Rodrigo Folgueira is a simple book about a little pink pig that is sitting on a rock in a pond, and the frogs can’t figure out why the pig is there. When asked the pig replies, “Ribbit!” This confuses the frogs and all the other animals, and they begin to argue amongst themselves. They consult the wise old Beetle who says, “Maybe, he just wanted to make new friends.” In the end the little pink pig is seen in a tree practicing his “tweet!” He is surrounded by new friends. The kids laughed at the funny things the worm did and said when they listened to Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin. Each child received a baggie of gummy worms from Tiffanie. Malisa Linthicum assisted with this group.
The focus of Dixie Teten’s Thursday morning group was: Construction! The early discussion and demonstrations zeroed in on the shapes all around us. Dixie had large examples of squares, rectangles, triangles, cylinders, etc. for the children to observe. Some of the questions she asked were: Where do you see shapes? Why are they important? Which shape is the strongest? Which is the weakest? Why are shapes strong or weak? Mrs. Linthicum and Ms. Adams did a demonstration on the strength of a cylinder and then demonstrated what you might do to weaken a cylinder. They crushed it! The discussion turned to the large columns or cylinders at the Atchison County Memorial Building in Rock Port. Before activity time the children listened to the book This House, Once by Deborah Freedman. It is a story about the materials used to build a house, and what those materials were before they became your house. Example: windows are glass and glass was once, mostly sand. The kids were delighted with the day’s activity time. They played with many types and shapes of wood. There were hammers, nails and screwdrivers available for them to practice using all of their construction skills. These children, who are ready for grades 2 and 3, had a great time learning about building houses. Some of the everyday shapes that the children said were most important to them were: swimming pools, beds, lizard tanks, wheels on a car, t.v.’s, telephones, flash lights, door, Ipad, floor and a roof. The library is most appreciative of Derek Teten for his donation of all the wood and the use of his tools.
What can you do to help protect the Earth’s precious water resources? Trudy Heitman began her program by asking her group to ponder that question.  A discussion followed about all the things these young people could do to keep our water clean. Each child participated in a demonstration about the devastating effects of an oil spill in the ocean. Everyone received a dish with water, vegetable oil and food coloring. They were given the task of cleaning up the oil slick with cotton balls and Q-tips! Were they successful? No. The more they “cleaned” the darker and nastier the water became. Could you live in this water? Would you drink this water? Trudy read excerpts from the book Plastic Ahoy! Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch by Patricia Newman. It is the story of a team of researchers investigating and analyzing plastic debris that has collected in the “Garbage Patch” in the Pacific Ocean. Plastic has collected there from rivers, beaches, and ocean traffic from all over the world. Plastic is devastating to all the life forms in the ocean. The craft for the day was making an origami pod that revealed types of pollution and possible solutions. Each child took home a detective packet from the E.P.A. telling them how to detect and then reduce waste and how to conserve resources. A coloring sheet about coral reefs challenges them to find items in the reef that will do it harm. This group of kids, who are ready for grades 4 and 5, participated in an eventful and rewarding program.

On Tuesday, July 11, the three and four year olds met with Ashley Grossman for 45 minutes of stories and lots of fun! The children played with finger puppets while listening to Harriet Ziefert’s edition of the Three Little Pigs. The kids used straw, toothpicks and Duplo bricks to build houses and knock them down. They discovered that the “bricks” made the strongest houses. It’s really difficult to make a straw house! They also enjoyed hearing the story 6 Sticks by Molly Coxe. The program concluded with building more houses out of wooden blocks, and decorating seashells to look like pigs and cats.
Leann Ohlensehlen read Building Our House by Jonathan Bean to open this year’s program for the 5 and 6 year olds. After the story, each child designed and drew their own building: Maybe a barn, a garage or a skyscraper! Leann read Construction by Sally Sutton. The kids made castles out of construction paper. Some of the castles were very elaborate having multiple towers and spires. As always, the library sent everyone home with tote bags and other goodies.
The immediate focus of the children, who met with Sarah Osburn on Thursday morning, was on the results of the leaders challenge from week one. Make a tightrope walker move across the tightrope setup that you made, without touching him. Lots of tries and ideas, but no one was successful. Sarah provided a successful demonstration of the challenge by using wind power! The children listened to an amusing story, The Perfect Nest by Catherine Friend. A contest followed. Using pieces of wood, who can build the tallest nest that will actually hold an egg? The race was on! Knox Oswald won that challenge. Once again the children discussed Building a Better World through kindness and friendship, as demonstrated in Horton Hatches an Egg, by Dr. Seuss. This program, with future second and third graders, ended with a new challenge. The challenge has something do with building a “spacecraft” from recyclable materials!
Ashton Lewis started the meeting with her Thursday group by watching a D.V.D. entitled, How to Build a House by Gail Gibbons. She read the book Building by Elisha Cooper, a very simple story, about the basic elements that go into constructing a generic office building. Building, of a very different sort, was addressed in The Perfect Nest by Catherine Friend. A cat is determined to build a perfect nest for his feathered friends so he can steal eggs for omelets. Riotous events ensue. This group tried their hands at building nests using Duplos, wooden blocks and other building items. These young people, of soon to be fourth, fifth and sixth graders, continue to read chapters from A Fish in a Tree by L.M. Hunt. Each Thursday group received interesting items from the library.

Brooke Walton led the youngest group of summer readers and listeners in a second week session of fun. She read Push! Dig! Scoop! by Rhonda G. Greene. In this delightful story of counting and rhyme, Mama bulldozer and Mama dump truck and Papa excavator and Papa wheel loader are teaching their little ones that helping with building and construction is hard work! The kids enjoyed coloring and decorating a large cardboard house that Brooke had constructed for them. Other creative play produced a “zombie” duck made of Legos and aliens and robots made of blocks, Play-Doh and pompons. These children were delighted to play the parachute and pompon toss game once again!
What does it take to build a house from start to finish? Buy a lot, make a plan, trucks, machines, tools, lumber, concrete and lots of help are just a few of the things it takes to build a house.  That’s what the children learned who joined Jan Taylor White for a program at the library on Thursday morning. Jan read Building Our House by Jonathan Bean, a story about a family who built their own house. What a job! At activity time the children visited several work stations, where they built houses with wooden blocks, colored a cardboard playhouse, practiced their lacing skills on tool shapes such as hammers, and colored pictures of construction workers. This group of 5 and 6 year olds were pleased to munch on Twizzlers to give them energy to be great builders!