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Park Rapids Library programs offer hands-on learning for youth

The Park Rapids Library kicks off its summer reading program for ages 2-18 this week, plus a month of fun events.

With this year's theme, "Reading by Design," the local library is focusing on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics). Here is the schedule for June:

Girls love STEAM

"GIRLS ❤ STEAM," is a new, summer-long gathering of girls of all ages to explore space, science and hands-on learning. There will be fun learning for every level — from 5-year-olds through teens — every other Friday from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Girls of all ages are welcome to come and explore science. Stop in or call 732-4966 to sign up.

On Friday, June 9, participants will go online to see what NASA is discovering, explore all kinds of sciences, prepare for the August 21 solar eclipse and dabble in cool chemistry with "mesh stress balls."

Explore chemistry and biology with terrariums on Friday, June 23. Bring your own large, wide-mouthed glass jar with lid or let the library know if you need one.

Stories from India

Storyteller Zaraawar Mistry and musician Greg Herriges will be at Park Rapids Library on Thursday, June 15 at 10:30 a.m. Join Z and Greg for stories of wit and wisdom from India. This program includes popular Indian stories about Emperor Akbar and his wise advisor Birbal as well as great historical references and many fun riddles.

This free Legacy Program is funded, in part or in whole, with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008 which dedicated funding to preserve Minnesota's arts and cultural heritage.

Flowers By Design

Floral design is fun and easy. Former florist Leann Willenbring will show youth all they need to know to make their own pretty mug arrangement on Saturday, June 17 from 1:30- 3 p.m. Bring your own mug for a special touch. A few will be available here. All other supplies included. Limit 12. Ages 8-18.

Abstract Art Workshop

Nationally recognized artist Boyd Sharp demonstrates and leads a free workshop on Tuesday, June 20 on designing an abstract painting. Largely self-taught, Boyd has an inspiring story that will kick off teens summer of creativity. All supplies included to create your own painting. Ages 8-18. Limit of 18. The program runs from 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Basket Weaving

Learn how to weave a simple small basket with Leann Willenbring on Wednesday, June 21. Start with a basket base and add yarn to create a cute basket perfectly sized to catch jewelry or whatever you like. All supplies are included, but youth (ages 8-18) are welcome to bring their own yarn. The class is 9:30-11 a.m.

Tying Fishing Flies

Did you know fishing flies are designed to look like specific insects? Join avid fly fisherman Jeff as he demonstrates fly tying and shows the tools and materials he uses to catch bass and crappies all summer long. Ages 8-18 are invited to attend on Wednesday, June 28 from 1-2 p.m.