Library kickoff

It was fun in the sun when Socorro Library's blast off reading party began last week.

Socorro Public Library hosted a Universe of Stories Blast Off just south of the town plaza last Thursday.

Socorro county police blocked off the road adjacent to the Finley gym. A blow-up water slide was set up with free snow cones, face painting and books to read.

Socorro Library Assistant Tiara Jojola was one of several volunteers out helping to set up and coordinate the event.

“I’ve been here for three years now,” she said. “Just trying to get the kids involved and out having fun. Maybe win a few prizes. It’s nice to have something like this for our youth here in Socorro.”

Universe of Stories was the Public Library's Fourth Annual Summer Reading Block Party. Library Director Chelsea Lyons worked with the City of Socorro Streets Department and multiple volunteer organizations.

In congruence with the Head Start program, Lindsey Lopez was a big part of helping to organize the summer kickoff. She was one of the volunteers handing out snow cones. Lopez’s stand also offered free books about animals, preschool and the importance of literacy.

“The library contacted us to see who wanted to be a part of this event,” she said. “We thought of course. Watching the kids enjoying themselves is what the summer is all about. This type of get together is so critical. Studies show that when kids don’t read over the summer then they tend to lose a lot of the progress made throughout the school year. Making reading fun and engaging families together is very important.”

Head Start is currently accepting enrollment for children ages 3-5 for continuing education.

In order to feed the hungry group of kids and adults the fire department donated their time as Captain and Warriors coach Lawrence Baca was on hand with fellow first responder Jedi Angel grilling up a storm of burgers and links.

“It’s tough to keep up with the amount of people here,” Baca said. “But that’s a good thing to see all of these happy faces. Anytime the fire department hears about an event to better the community we’re always ready to help out any way possible.”

Families were also welcomed to “A Galaxy of Wonders”. An affiliate of the Smithsonian Science Program, the New Mexico Museum of Space and History traveled one of its RV style trailers to the event from Alamagordo to showcase space related oddities. Jamie Brytowski and her crew of knowledgable historians welcomed people out of the hot sun to learn more about space technology.

“This year our team is focused on the cosmos,” she said. “We are a mobile museum in which different state entities install showcases for smaller communities to enjoy and this year it was space. Each publicly funded museum if you will gets a turn sort to speak. Last year it was Native American culture and next year will be about local New Mexican folk art. Our goal is always to hit all 33 counties to introduce kids to these types of experiences. For a lot of these smaller communities it isn’t easy to go to a bigger museum and to share with everybody a piece of knowledge is always a good thing.”

The summer library program is officially underway with a visit from museums such as Explora Children's Museum on June 13. The program runs from June 6 to July 25. The awards party will take place on July 31 at 2 p.m. For any questions as to how you can get your kids involved this summer contact Maribel Tarango at 575-835-1114 or e-mail the group at