GPL Column: Reach for the stars

A fascination with space starts young, I’ve learned. My daughter is 4 years old and already dreams of one day becoming an astronaut. She’s been asking me regularly if she can stay up late to look through the telescope, and she gets excited every time she spots the moon or a star.

It’s easy to understand her interest. There is something magical and humbling about looking up at the night sky. Finding constellations, learning about the planets, and realizing how small we are within this vast universe are all fascinating ideas that I think everyone has at least some interest in. I mean learning about and imagining what exists beyond our own planet is awesome.

Just think of all of the SciFi movies and books that exist because someone was willing to imagine what may be. Or of all of the incredible discoveries NASA has made because we as humans looked up to the sky and dreamed.

This summer, we at Greenwood Public Library are reaching for the stars as we celebrate all of the awesomeness of space. Our Reach for the Stars Summer Challenge is happening now for all ages, and it’s so easy to participate. Download our Beanstack app, visit our website, or stop by any Help Desk to get signed up. Then all you have to do is try to earn as many points as possible through the end of July for the chance to win some awesome prizes. Activities include reading each day, finishing a book, visiting The Studio Makerspace, participating in weekly activities, and more.

You can also earn points for attending some of our awesome programs! Go to “Infinity and beyond,” with our Interactive Outdoor Movie: Toy Story at Ray Crowe Elementary on Friday, July 7th, or bring the whole family to our Children’s Museum Beyond Spaceship Earth event on July 20th. Learn about Hoosier native Astronaut Gus Grissom on June 29th, or discover what everyday items we have because of NASA at our NASA Spinoffs program on July 18th.

Our full lineup of programs includes something for all ages. We’ll have weekly programs for school-age kids all summer long, along with regular storytimes. Teens will be able to attend an after-hours Space Camp or come learn about mythology and constellations. Adults 21+ are invited to act like a kid again at our adults-only Library After Dark: Out of This World fundraiser.

So whether you’re a kid, teen or adult, I hope you’ll reach for the stars with GPL this summer. I know I’m looking forward to embracing my daughter’s (and my own) interest in space. I’m already making plans to let my daughter stay up late a few times this summer so she’ll get the chance to look through that telescope.

Valerie Holbrook is the Marketing Specialist at Greenwood Public Library. GPL staff members share in writing this twice-monthly column for the Daily Journal. Send comments to