By Jonathan Robbins Leon, OLS Staff
Summer is right around the corner, which means the Osceola Library is gearing up for its annual Summer Reading Challenge! Battle the dreaded “summer slide”, a decline in reading and skill comprehension that happens after two months of vacation, and treat your kids to the educational programs your Library will be offering. This year’s summer theme is “A Universe of Stories”, so it makes sense that special guests will include the Central Florida Astronomical Society, the Orlando Science Center, and volunteer Storm Troopers! Families can look forward to weekly performances from guest entertainers, space-themed movies, and afternoon programs for families and teens.
Parents of toddlers and preschoolers should take note of the PBS Kidstime program, a special storytime featuring beloved PBS characters and a craft. Presented by WUCF and Central Florida PBS, at the Poinciana, Hart Memorial, and St. Cloud Libraries in June.
Family Quest programs will feature activities for school-age kids. Learn the art of sushi-making in Benihana’s instructional class. Pilot a mini-drone when the Citizen Science GIS team from UCF showcase how drones fly to the rescue in natural disasters. Or if this world isn’t big enough for your dreams, take a look at the sky through the Florida Astronomical Society’s telescope when they come to the Poinciana, Hart Memorial, and West Osceola Libraries to discuss stars and what might be out there in the universe.
One of the most anticipated programs of the summer is a messy chemistry show by Super Cool Science. On June 8, Professor Christina Wilson kicks off summer at Osceola Library’s 3rd Annual STEAM Day located at the West Osceola Library, where kids can visit interactive tech stations and meet author Peter Raymundo to celebrate the release of his new book, I Am Not a Fish! If you can’t make it, be sure to check out the Super Cool Science show when it tours each of the Osceola Library branches throughout the month of June.
In July, the Orlando Science Center (OSC) will engage the whole family with ten space-themed activity stations! Kids will learn more about planets, rockets, and stars at this unique program. Visit all ten stations for a chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets to OSC.
But wait! The Summer Reading Challenge isn’t just for the little ones. Adults can get in on the cosmic action by creating Zodiac Mandala Stones, testing their wits at Escape Room challenges, or by competing in Star Wars trivia and Interstellar Bingo. You won’t want to miss the Universe of Stories Adult Summer Reading Launch Parties at the St. Cloud and Hart Memorial Libraries, where you can kick off your interstellar summer in style.
Junior readers can earn a prize by reading at home and bringing a completed reading log back to the library. Adults, earn raffle tickets for a chance to win goodies by attending adult programs or turning in the adult summer reading log. Swing by your local branch in June to grab reading logs and a calendar, or check out the online calendar at osceolalibrary.org to make sure you don’t miss any of the action. Your Library can’t wait to dazzle you this summer with its out-of-this-world delights!