NASA takes Morton Library to the moon

By JAMES PHILLIPS,

On June 27 six libraries of the Central Mississippi Regional Library System (CMRLS) participated in a live feed presentation presented by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration better known as NASA. The children participating in the summer reading programs at the libraries in Morton and Forest were treated to a presentation that was out of this world.

Working in conjunction with NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, MS, the kids, and parents, in attendance enjoyed the live presentation on the Apollo space mission that landed on the moon.

The kids at Morton were given an insider’s look at all the aspects of the Apollo mission that made it possible to accomplish the monumental task of putting men on the moon. The NASA presentation showed the kids space suits, the rockets and capsules used to travel to the moon, food the astronauts ate and explained in depth the launch and 238,500 mile trip to the moon.

After the live presentation the kids at all participating libraries participated in a live question-and-answer session that included any question about the Apollo missions or anything at NASA.

Kathy Roberts who is the Coordinator of Youth Services for CMRLS was on hand at the Morton Library for the exciting program. “We are very excited for this opportunity to partner with NASA, and for the children that get to see this program,” Roberts said. “We had initiated communication with the Stennis Space Station on the coast about having someone from NASA come to our libraries this summer. They informed us that they would be offering this program as part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing so it all came together. Our children were not alive during the Apollo missions so this program will really teach them about the history of NASA space program.”

The timing of the Apollo anniversary could not have come at a better time for the local libraries, it perfectly coincided with the summer reading program at Morton Library, and all CMRLS libraries. This year’s summer program is named “A Universe of Stories” and themed after space and the surrounding universe. After learning about the scheduled NASA presentation, kids visiting the Morton Library started checking out numerous books about astrology, space and NASA at a high rate. This is the exact affect the library was working to create.

“Each year we have themed summer reading programs in order to expand our kid’s knowledge and reading tendencies,” said Roberts. “This NASA program has served as a catalyst for our children to read things they may not have read which is exactly what we are working to achieve with our wonderful library programs.”       

Morton Library branch manager, Kelly Brown, said that the Apollo presentation is an exciting chance for the kids to learn about NASA. “I’m just really excited about this NASA program, and I know our kids are very excited to,” Brown said. “Many of our kids would have never have had the opportunity to actually talk with people that work at NASA. I’m included on that as well, because I have never even talked with someone from NASA. It’s just really exciting for all of us here at the library and for the kids.”

When the program started at 2:00 p.m. last Thursday the room was full of students and parents excitedly awaiting the presentation. The NASA presenter did not disappoint as the children, and adults, in attendance were attentively listening to every word he had to say. After the conclusion of the presentation the Q-and-A session lasted 30 minutes and was full of interesting questions asked by students of all ages.

After the program was over, the kids received a package that came directly from NASA and included NASA and Apollo mission stickers and a color exhibit of the actual rockets and capsules that carried the astronauts. To complete the out-of-this-world afternoon at the Morton Library all kids in attendance gathered and made moon slime.

The NASA presentation, and all associated activities, was a great success for all the libraries that participated and for every child and parents that attended.