DATE: July 30, 2009
Space Shuttle Astronaut Inspires Young Readers
Astronaut Steve Bowen read to a large group of children at John Curtis Library in Hanover as part of Starship Adventure summer reading programs and “When you read, you score!
As part of the collaboration between the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) and the Boston Bruins, NASA Astronaut Steve Bowen visited John Curtis Library in Hanover to read stories and answer questions from the children who are participating in the summer reading program, Starship Adventure at Your Library.
Bowen, a Cohasset native and member of the 2008 Space Shuttle Endeavor mission, told the children, "There were two things that I did every summer: I was in the library and on the ice," referring to his love of reading and of hockey. He spoke about his own experience as a young child who was placed in the lowest reading group. "I didn't like being in that group, so I kept going to the library and reading as much as I could until I was in the highest group." He encouraged the youngsters to "keep trying the things that are hard."
Boston Bruins mascot Blades was on hand for the special story time. The Bruins have teamed up with the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners to encourage summer reading through “When you read, you score!”
Bowen, who is scheduled for another space mission in May 2010, also talked about the technology we enjoy today that is a direct result of our space program. "We set what may seem like an impossible goal; then we ask the tough questions and push ourselves to overcome the obstacles." "So much of what we do for the space program, ends up making our life here on earth better." Water re-use is something that is necessary for the International Space Station, but that technology will ultimately help preserve what many consider to be the earth's most precious resource.
Youngsters had the opportunity to ask the astronaut questions such as, “What’s it like to walk in space?”
One young boy asked Bowen why we hadn't been back to the moon since the Apollo Mission forty years ago. Bowen responded, "I'm not sure why we haven't been back. But I can tell you this, when we do go back, it will be to stay."
Bowen's visit to Hanover's public library is part of several events that the MBLC and the Bruins have scheduled to promote reading and the Starship Adventure Summer Reading Program. Bruins celebrities will be visiting several libraries across the Commonwealth and the team has special prizes for teens and children who sign up for the "When you read, you score!" segment of summer reading.
The Board of Library Commissioners (mass.gov/mblc) is the agency of state government with the statutory authority and responsibility to organize, develop, coordinate and improve library services throughout the Commonwealth. The Board advises municipalities and library trustees on the operation and maintenance of public libraries, including construction and renovation. It administers state and federal grant programs for libraries and promotes cooperation among all types of libraries through regional library systems and automated resource sharing. It also works to ensure that all residents of the Commonwealth, regardless of their geographic location, social or economic status, age, level of physical or intellectual ability or cultural background, have access to essential new electronic information technologies and significant electronic databases.