Leslie Warren, youth services director for Coffee County Lannom Library, will attend a workshop organized by NASA to prepare for this year’s Summer Reading Program.
The NASA STEM Workshop will be held in Smyrna on March 28-29.
Warren is one of only four people from Middle Tennessee who were invited to participate.
“The workshop will provide activities, content and NASA resources that will prepare our staff for the 2019 Summer Reading Program,” Warren said.
The theme of this year’s summer reading is A Universe of Stories.
The facilitators of the workshop include NASA@ My Library team members from the Space Science Institute and the Lunar Planetary Institute, according to Warren.
Through the NASA@ My Library project, NASA and the public library community work together to enhance STEM literacy of library patrons. The initiative focuses on underserved and underrepresented populations throughout the nation. Seventy U.S. public libraries and 18 state libraries, representing 45 states, have joined the project as partners to facilitate STEM-related programing.
During the NASA STEM workshop, participants will learn how to conduct space science activities for children and teens and how to connect with NASA science and missions, according to Warren.
“I’ve never done anything like this before,” Warren said. “I can come back and train our staff on the topics they teach us there.”
Warren is looking forward to expanding her knowledge of space science.
“I am very excited and honored to be chosen to attend this wonderful workshop,” she said. “This workshop will allow me to bring more free activities to our community and continue to cultivate a love of reading for all ages.”
The kickoff of the library’s summer reading program is set for May 21, according to Warren.
Having a different theme each year, the initiative motivates young readers to delve into various subjects.
“The summer reading program is a way for us to help children keep reading over the summer,” Warren said. “They are not in school during the summer, so we don’t want that gap to affect their education. We do it in a way that is fun and it’s free for everybody.”
The summer reading programs are designed to encourage elementary-aged children to continue reading during summer vacation.
The main goal of the initiative is to keep young learners engaged with enriching activities throughout the summer.
For many families with elementary-aged children, the public library is the only community space available during the summer months where they can access free educational and cultural enrichment activities and programs, according to Collaborative Summer Reading Program’s website.
Through resources the library offers, children further their sense of discovery.
With the various interactive activities held at the library as part of the program, children also have access to experiences through which they learn to work together.
For more information, visit www.lannom.org or the library’s Facebook page.
Elena Cawley may be reached via email at email@example.com.