The Summer Reading program wrapped up Wednesday and Thursday, July 17 and 18. The program is sponsored by the Atchison County Library.

The kids at the Summer Reading program at Rock Port’s library were over the moon thanks to all the fun everyone had over the last several weeks’ worth of learning about outer space.

Bryna McEnaney, Jaydn Geib and Bentley Teten concentrate on making constellation luminaries during the last week of Summer Reading at the Atchison County Library in Rock Port July 18, 2019.

These Summer Reading attendees painted galaxy rocks at Rock Port.

Rock Port

Mackenzie Dougherty led the three- and four-year-olds last week. Stories included Pete the Cat: Out of This World by James Dean, Dance by the Light of the Moon by Joanne Ryder and Baloney (Henry P.) by Jon Scieszka. Each child had their picture taken in the library’s cardboard cut-out of a space rocket in an earlier session. One of the day’s activities was putting their “rocket photo” in a space frame that made for safe transport home to Mom and Dad or grandparents. The group enjoyed playing in their assembled space ship playhouse that they had been decorating each session. The children received fruit-scented jars of bubbles for their weekly prize from the library.

Courtney Meyerkorth began the five- and six-year-old class with a discussion of things you would need versus things you would want if you lived on the moon. The kids decorated “galaxy stones” as their craft. Each child painted bright colors on black rocks and glittered them for beautiful finished products. The children were really excited to show them to everyone! Books read included Up Up and Away by Margaret Hillert and Astronaut Living in Space by Kate Hayden. Mackenzie Dougherty and Mackenzie Lager assisted Courtney with this group. This group had “rocket photos” to take home and sheets of space stickers were the prizes this week.

The first and second grade group was led by Katey Kroeger and Shelby Garst. They listened to What Is A Shooting Star? by Isaac Asimov and How the Stars Fell into the Sky by Jerrie Oughton. The children created constellation luminaries by poking holes in aluminum foil, lining a small glass jar with the foil and then inserting a tea light LED candle into the jar. The lights projected neat little constellations! The kids put together constellation flashlights as the weekly prize from the library. They also received a space slap bracelet and “A Universe of Stories” pencil. The leaders finished with a game of “space movements.”

Dixie Teten led the third and fourth grade group in an astronaut egg drop activity. The students created a carrier to protect their egg astronaut as it was dropped from standing atop a chair. The children took turns reading aloud Astronaut Living in Space by Kate Hayden. They played an astronaut training word search game. The library prizes were an alien splat ball and “A Universe of Stories” pencil.

Jaylee Wood blasts off to outer space with the Adventures in Space Summer Reading Program at the Tarkio Library. (Submitted Photo)

Jayne Martin reads to the little tykes who were attending the Summer Reading Program at the Tarkio Library on Wednesday morning, July 17, 2019. They are, from left to right, Bennett Peregrine, Hannah Wennihan, Asher Stepp, Rylynn Comstock, and Scarlett Gladman.


Jayne Martin’s three- and four-year-olds began by listening to two storybooks about outer space. The children played in the rocket ship playhouse and took turns wearing the space helmet. Each received a jar of bubbles as one prize, and the group went outside and blew bubbles into outer space! Rocket photos, “A Universe of Stories” cup and pencil were other weekly prizes to take home.

For Brooke Walton’s five- and six-year-old group’s final blast-off of summer reading, the children became aliens! They giggled as Brooke read Aliens Love Dinopants by Claire Freedman and The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot by Margaret McNamara. Each child made his/her own unique alien hat craft. They used their “alien hats” to protect themselves from other aliens during a parachute activity. “A Universe of Stories” cup was the weekly take home prize, plus photos taken in the rocket.

The first and second grade group began their session by reviewing phases of the moon. Leader Judy Henson read Do You Really Want to Visit the Moon? by Thomas Adamson. A fun discussion then ensued when the following questions were asked: “If I lived on the moon . . . what would my house be like? what would I do for fun? what wouldn’t I like?” The children had “A Home on the Moon” and “Man in the Moon” handouts to decorate. Weekly prizes included a foam space shuttle glider, a constellation flashlight and photos taken in the rocket.

Katherine Cox’s third and fourth graders watched a video on constellations. They learned that stars have been credited with magic, myths and legends. Constellation viewers were made to show the outline of constellations as they appear in the night sky. Each child made constellations on iced sugar cookies by using mini chocolate chips as stars and sprinkles as connecting lines to form constellations. Each child took home self-photos in the rocket, space sheets to decorate and space scratch-off sets.

Sarah Osburn discusses the planets with the Summer Reading Program participants Wednesday, July 17, 2019, at the Fairfax Library. Students pictured are Addy Giddinge, Ryann Salmond, Zailynn Cook, Wendy Hurst, Eli Auwarter, and Gabe Cain.


Shelby Hurst led her three- and four-year-olds in making moon sand with flour and vegetable oil (an 8:1 ratio of flour to oil, and food coloring can be added). The children played with the moon sand, and they really enjoyed playing in the completed rocket ship! Shelby read Moon: A Peek-through Picture Book by Britta Teckentrup, Birth of the Moon by Coby Hol and Meet Me at the Moon by Gianna Marino. This group took home their moon sand, rocket photos and pencils as a weekly prize.

The group of five- and six-year-olds decorated rockets made from Pringles cans, aluminum foil, and patterned paper (each rocket had the child’s picture on it, courtesy of leader Sarah Osburn). The kids used stickers to make a solar system, and then they used solar system cards to play a memory match game. Pretzels and marshmallows were used to make different constellations. Stories read were The Magic School Bus: Lost in the Solar System by Joanna Cole and Twinkle, Star of the Week by Joan Holub. They Dance in the Sky by Jean Guard Monroe was used as a reference to make constellations. The children enjoyed playing in the rocket. Space stickers, rocket photos and pencils were prizes from the library for this week.

Sarah Osburn led the first and second graders for their last summer reading meeting. She read Space Squad (Finn’s Fun Trucks) by Finn Coyle, Star Stuff: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos by Stephanie Roth Sisson and excerpts from Far Planets and Near Planets by Ian Graham. Best Ever Paper Airplanes by Norman Schmidt was used as a reference to make airplanes. The kids acted out space missions. They were explorers and scientists, and Sarah was the news reporter. The explorers landed their rocket at a location of their own choosing (the moon, an asteroid, Mars, etc.), took samples of mysterious items to give to the scientists and made observations as to what their location looked like. They had a blast doing this! The group ended by playing the game “Headbandz.” The names of planets were determined based on clues given by teammates. Alien splat balls and space scratch art sets were prizes for this group.

Leader Crystal Schieffer read to her third through fifth grade group from the books The Secret Galaxy by Fran Hodgkins and How Do You Burp in Space? by Susan Goodman. Activities included making constellations with marshmallows and pretzels and making galaxy slime with borax, glue, glitter and stars. The kids played “Galaxy Invasion,” which is similar to dodgeball, but it was played with paper plates that were painted to look like asteroids. Prizes for the week were scratch art sets and space mobiles.

A very special part of the library’s Summer Reading Program is gifting each child with books to enjoy at home. Every child received non-fiction materials about some facet of space or the universe. These books ranged from books about planets, the sun and the night sky to how would you manage a “burp” in space, and what would we do without satellites? The fiction books included classic and popular characters for the little ones and two of the latest Mark Twain nominees for the oldest group.

McDonald’s and Torrey Pines donated gift certificates for treats for the children in Rock Port and Tarkio. Children in Fairfax were treated to certificates for ice cream cones courtesy of the library. The library provided last day treats of animal crackers or mini moon pies.

Library Director Janice Rosenbohm offered these comments. “We were delighted to have 86 children, county wide, attend summer reading. I always wish we could reach more children, but I compliment the parents and grandparents who made the effort on behalf of their children. I encourage everyone to please say thank you to the wonderful volunteers who help make the program a success. The library has great material for every family. Please plan a visit!”

Nineteen children, accompanied by 24 adults, enjoyed the Friday night performance of Frozen Jr., courtesy of the Atchison County Library. The children were part of the library’s Summer Reading Program.