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Summer reading program celebrates space

As a way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first man on the moon, the Harlan County Public Libraries Summer Reading Program focused on space and our solar system. The program finale took place at the Harlan Center on Friday and involved an expert from Animal Tales and a chance for children to take pictures with characters from the Star Wars universe.

Harlan County Libraries Youth Services programmer Elizabeth Lewis said this was her first year planning the program, with events in Harlan, Cumberland and Evarts.

“Our theme was ‘A Universe of Stories,’ so all summer long we’ve learned awesome facts about our solar system, galaxies, as well as astronauts and the science behind NASA’s greatest explorations,” Lewis said.

Lewis noted the summer reading theme was a nationwide event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of NASA’s mission to the moon.

At the finale, children were also able to engage in a live animal educational experience through Animal Tales. The programs are used to educate, entertain and inspire children through the use of animals, including some exotic species, as mentioned on their website.

“Our finale featured an animal expert from Animal Tales, which is always an exciting treat for our kids,” Lewis said. “We also had characters from Star Wars to fit into our space theme for children to have a special photo opportunity with.”

After the Animal Tales presentation, children walked into the atrium to take pictures with the Star Wars characters and eat lunch provided by the Harlan Boys & Girls Club. Children were also able to pick out books from different categories that were spread across multiple tables.

“The Harlan County Public Libraries would like to thank the Harlan Boys & Girls Club for providing meals for our children,” Lewis said. “We’d also like to thank all the parents for encouraging their children to expand their literacy and personal growth.”

The libraries’ regular story times start back Aug. 6 in the Cumberland library and Aug. 8, in the Harlan library. Readings will take place at 1 and 3:30 p.m. The Evarts library also has story time available for children on Thursdays at 4:30 p.m.