It’s that time of year.  Kids are coming home with bags full of projects and all the gumpf that’s piled up in their desks and lockers.  Artifacts of their school year. Parents are handed piles of papers including report cards, i-ready testing data, DIBELs, CMAS, and more.  A “woohoo” of celebration, a shocked covering of the mouth, or the ever sage nodding of the head in agreement in an attempt to decipher all the bits and pieces schools use to determine a child’s academic growth and success.  

After 148 days of hard work, the anxiously awaited summer break is here.  Camps are planned; play dates arranged; an attempt to squeeze in a visit to the grandparents is made.  Before you know it, the summer routine is in place.

Make sure to blast off to a local library for Grand County Library District’s “A Universe of Stories: to the library and beyond” in your busy summer schedule.

Don’t let all that hard earned growth and love of learning from the school year fall by the wayside.  According to the Colorado Department of Education, “Reading is one of the most important things children and teens can do during the summer to keep their skills sharp for the next school year.”  

And, this year, we’re doing much more than having kids record their reading in their reading logs.  True, we’ve boosted our shelves and our digital downloads with anticipated best sellers and a tour de force of space and science books.  We’re ready for everybody to grab a comic book, sunscreen, and hammock. But, there is more.

Our summer reading program is hosting a NASA Living in Space program to discover Life on the International Space Station.  We’re exploring Newton’s Laws of Motion and building rockets to shoot to the moon and varying styles of paper airplanes to understand the nuance of flight.  We’re hosting a NASA ambassador to help us explore the night sky.

Curious, yet?  Our summer learning opportunities don’t stop there.

Go beyond the library with GCLD and the BLM with a tour of the former sea that has left fossils of ammonite as evidence for its existence.  Join skilled artisan Heidi McNinch to compose a colorful solar system bracelet.

Surely, it stops there.  Nope!

Build a lunar module to support 2 astronauts.  Use your face to control a robot. Get creative with fractals.  A different makerspace kit will rotate each week to your local library emphasizing space science, technology, engineering, art, and don’t forget music with our new Cubelets robotics kits.

Academic studies prove that kids read more when they’re having fun, seeing others read, and choose their own reading material (Colorado Department of Education).  We believe it is not about pages but how we interact with the literature we read, listen to, and share. Just 20 minutes a day for our children all the way up to 5th grade and those older, decide on your own goal based on your needs and desires, helps our learning.

The 2019 Summer Reading Program is open to all, birth to 199 and beyond.  Challenge your friends, challenge your family members to participate in our reading log challenge. And maybe, just maybe, we might celebrate your success with an Apple Watch (adults), an action camera with attachments (6th grade and above), or a weird and wacky STEAM kit.

Registration for “A Universe of Stories” begins on June 3 – July 31. For more information and program calendars, call the library your library or visit  If you do have that trip to Grandma’s, check out their local library. Chances are, they are exploring a Universe of Stories, too.