A week of storytelling, Hummers at library

Kathryn SwanJ-C Correspondent

Internationally acclaimed storyteller Fran Stallings entertained children and adults last Tuesday at the Pawhuska Public Library. Accompanying herself on an autoharp, Stallings shared her unique blend of storytelling, acting, hand gestures, song and music to draw her youthful audience into each story. “Fran’s methods encouraged the children to use their imaginations to see each story in their minds,” said Assistant Librarian Yvonne Rose. “They were also encouraged to participate in the sound effects. Judging from each child’s wide eyes, laughter and big smiles, they were all completely engaged.” Stallings also taught the children two coordination exercises with “The Elephant’s Nose” and “Twitching the Cat’s Ears.”

On Thursday, representatives of the Claremore based Oklahoma National Guard visited the City library. Program coordinator was retired National Guard Commander Donnie Smith. He was accompanied by guardsmen from several Oklahoma towns.

“For the first part of the program children, youth and parents met in the library’s community room for an explanation of what the Guard does,” explained Rose. Smith told the group that National Guards are soldiers who assist the army and air force. They also help communities in times of natural disasters, such as tornadoes, floods and hurricanes.

Next, participants were invited to the Guard’s outdoor display of two hummers, two weapons systems (minus the ammunition), night goggles and heat-sensitive goggles. “Everyone present was encouraged to climb up into the hummers, look out through the opened turrets, and to try the night goggles and heat-sensing goggles,” continued Rose. “Much to the delight of the children and adults, the Guardsmen presented the participants with souvenir hats, t-shirts and pencils.

“Pawhuska Library extends many thanks Donnie Smith and the National Guard for a very important patriotic and informative program and to Fran Stallings for encouraging children to use their imaginations.” Sponsors for Summer Reading Program 2015 are the Institute Museum and Library Services, the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, and Sonic Corporation. This afternoon at 2:30, the Library’s grand finale will be the return of magician Steve Crawford. For more information, call 918-287-3989.