(STILLWATER, Oklahoma / May 8, 2019) – Explore the stars, moon, universe and a world of books during this summer’s reading programs at the Stillwater Public Library. “A Universe of Stories” takes place June 4-July 25 with weekly programs, reading challenges, incentives and chances for substantial end of summer prizes. Participation is free and registration is now open for the children’s, teen and adult programs.

Children, age birth through fifth grade, can explore space with an array of talented, exciting professional performers each Tuesday at 10 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Families can attend the programs together at an evening showing which takes place at 6:30 p.m. The children’s summer line-up includes:

  • June 4: Red, White & Blue Operetta. Performed by area 2-7 graders, the Rana McCoy Children’s Operetta will focus on the United States flag and the history that surrounds it. Please note, there is no 6:30 p.m. performance for this event.
  • June 11: An Astronomers Guide to the Galaxy. This program features Margaret Clauder’s puppets such as "The Sun" - he's a BIG star! Also "Mother Earth" - she's so old she has snow on her roof and the "Moon" - a kid at heart who loves to surf because his gravity affects the tides.
  • June 18: Reach for the Stars Magic Show. Magician Kevin Wade’s mission is clear - captivate attention, mystify through incredible magic, teach amazing fun facts about outer space, promote literacy and most of all have a SPACE-tacular time! 
  • June 25: Animal Constellations. In this highly entertaining and interactive program, Extreme Animals will teach kids how many animal constellations make up space, the legends and meanings behind them, where to search for them and more. A hoppin' kangaroo, glowing scorpion, slithering snake and playful fox are just a few ambassadors who will steal readers’ hearts.
  • July 2: Magic is from Mars, Juggling is from Jupiter. In a high energy performance, Ann Lincoln uses comedy, magic and juggling to emphasize the importance of reading, continuing to learn and the “universe of stories” available at the library.
  • July 9: Destination - Moon. Mad Science will transform kids into astronauts by showing how they eat, work, and exercise. Participants will blast off with a deep space breathing race and a lunar obstacle course complete with space suit. Once the new astronauts are trained, they will explore exactly what they need to do to land on the moon.
  • July 16: Take Me to Your Library. Dance and sing along with local singer/songwriter Monty Harper.
  • July 23: Award Ceremony - Children who reach their 10 hour summer reading goal will get to see a special presentation of “Books Alive” with the Wondertorium.

On Thursdays at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., bring the whole family to “Summer Cinema” which features big-name feature films appropriate for all ages. For specific movie titles, please check the library’s website.

Along with the weekly programs, children will participate in a reading club where they will read to earn prizes for every five hours they log. Prizes include food and activity coupons, while supplies last. Upon completing at least 10 hours of reading, kids earn their invitation to attend the end of summer Awards Ceremony where they will pick a free book to keep and enjoy a bonus performance. Those who complete 30 hours or more of reading will be entered in to a grand prize drawing. The winner may choose from a list of prizes including a telescope, bookstore gift card, cardboard rocket kit or Wondertorium pass.

Students going into 6-12 grades can join the “Teen” program featuring programs that take place Wednesdays from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Programs include:

  • June 5: Galaxy Shirts at Prairie Arts. Make and decorate a galaxy shirt and screen-print the library’s summer reading logo onto it. Participants should bring a dark-colored shirt to ensure the best fit and comfort, but a limited number of shirts will be provided.
  • June 12: Superheroes in Space. Forge superhero accessories, create comic book crafts, team up for trivia quizzes, and much more.
  • June 19: Sci-Fi/Sci-Fact. Try some hands-on science fun with DIY lava lamps, slime and more, then check out some old science fiction concepts and explore the media people thought would last forever by doing mixed media art with old tapes, CDs, and records. 
  • June 26: Star Wars with Mandalorian Mercs. Learn how the semi-pros create their props, then take apart old appliances and electronics to scavenge parts to make a prop to take home. Use Legos and origami paper on hand to build ships and other Star War themed creations.
  • July 3: Rocket Launch at Boomer Park. OSU Engineering will help readers use recycled materials to build, test and launch bottle rockets at Boomer Lake. Bring sunscreen!
  • July 10: Hands-on Astronomy. Join NASA Oklahoma Space Grant Consortium staff for hands-on projects to learn about meteors, craters and more.
  • July 17: Cardboard Construction Competition. Grab an appliance box and work in a team to create a space station or ship. Creations will be judged on creativity, cohesion, theme, teamwork and presentation.
  • July 24: Finale at Ultimate Air Trampoline Park. Jump for joy at the end of summer celebration where the grand prize winner will be announced. Participants should bring their Ultimate Air socks if they have them, or pairs will be provided. A parental waiver is required for all participants. 

Teen readers will log their reading online using Wandoo, the library’s online tracking service. Readers will earn coupon prizes for every 5 hours they read and a book for every 20 hours, up to 100. They also can earn extra grand prize drawing entries by completing library related challenges on Wandoo. This year’s prize, valued at approximately $350, is the winner’s choice between a laptop, game system, telescope or gift card to a local retailer. 

In addition to the Wednesday programs, “Fribrary” for teens will continue throughout the summer with Teen Advisory Committee, Anime Club and movies every Friday night.

Adults can enjoy their own activities which explore the many concepts of space. Programs take place throughout the summer and include:

  • Wednesday, June 12, 6:30 p.m.: The Pursuit of Endurance: An Evening with Jennifer Pharr Davis. Explore outdoor space with Jennifer Pharr Davis, a record-setting hiker, author and speaker. Pharr Davis has covered more than 14,000 miles of trails, written articles for the New York Times, Outside and Backpacker, and has received numerous awards including being named a 2012 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. She will share her amazing story, now a book titled “The Pursuit of Endurance.” Bliss Books will sell copies of her book and a signing will follow the event.
  • Wednesday, June 26, Noon: Get Organized with Shannon Cowan – Learn to organize space with Cowan, who has been running her home business Fresh Perspective Organizing Services for more than 13 years. Cowan will share a number of strategies and tips for getting organized including downsizing and overcoming the obstacles that keep people from getting it together.
  • Thursday, July 25, 7:00 p.m.: Library StorySLAM. Everyone has a story, so participants should be ready to share theirs in a supportive, public space. StorySLAM is a live storytelling competition popularized by “The Moth.” The theme will be “Space: A Universe of Stories” and prizes will be awarded. Not ready to share? Observers are welcomed.

Adults also will be reading to earn prizes for every five hours they read; and this year, they get a chance to earn a free book after logging 20 hours. The grand prize is a $200 gift card to the reader’s choice of Stillwater businesses.

Major sponsors for “A Universe of Stories” include Friends of the Stillwater Public Library, NASA Oklahoma Space Grant Consortium, Institute of Museum and Library Services, Oklahoma Department of Libraries, Arvest Bank, Chris' University Spirit, Cockrell EyeCare Center, Monty Harper, Sonic, Chick-fil-A, Freddy's, Frontier Lanes, Insomnia Cookies, McDonalds, OnCue, Texas Roadhouse, Water-Zoo Indoor Water Park, What-a-burger and Youth Fitness Zone.

The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. (the corner of Duck and 12th Ave.).

For more information, contact the Stillwater Public Library by phone at (405) 372-3633 or by e-mail at askalibrarian@stillwater.orgor visit the web site at http://library.stillwater.org.