Moffat County Library’s Youth Club winds to a close |

Moffat County Library’s Youth Club winds to a close

William Johnson, 12, Kaia Gunderson, 9, and Jasmin Hershiser, 8, perfect the finish of their marble racetrack at the final meeting of Youth Club on Wednesday.
Lauren Blair

— The Moffat County Library’s Youth Club program wound down for the summer with its last meeting Wednesday featuring marbles, foam tubes and a physics experiment.

Run by librarian Sally Beauchamp, the program has engaged kids ages 8 to 12 with educational activities every Wednesday since the first week of June.

For their final session, Beauchamp offered the kids foam half-pipe, marbles, tape and a challenge. In teams of two, they had to build a racetrack for the marble, which included one loop, one hill and delivered the marble into a shoe.

Nine-year-old Kaia Gunderson worked with her partner, William Johnson, 12, struggling to successfully get their marble through this obstacle course.

As other pairs completed the challenge, they dispersed to help their peers do the same. With the added support of Jasmin Hershiser, 8, Gunderson and Johnson made the necessary tweaks to get their marble to its destination — Johnson’s black tennis shoe.

The Youth Club program is an offshoot of the library’s Summer Reading Program, a nationwide program, which offers a different theme each year around where local organizers create reading lists and activities. This year’s theme was science.

Beauchamp sought community members, teachers and various experts in the sciences to design activities for the kids. This year’s guests included a nebula painter, Officer Norm Rimmer, science teacher Heather Frost and a representative with the Soil Conservation District.

“She came in and brought the water table — a weird kind of sand,” Beauchamp said.

Other activities included termite races, breaking open geodes that the kids got to take home with them, building toothpick and marshmallow towers and art and literacy activities.

Gunderson’s favorite activity of the summer was a toss-up between the geodes and the termite racing.

“I guess the termite racing was the best,” Gunderson said. “You can color on paper, and they’ll follow some of the colors more than the others. They mostly did blue, but the one that I raced did red.”

Gunderson’s mother, Tilila Gunderson, appreciated the stimulating activities her daughter was able to participate in.

“Kaia is very bright, so I have a difficult time keeping her mind engaged,” Tilila said. “It was something that was thought-provoking for her. It was fun, but also she was learning about things that I probably wouldn’t have thought to teach her.”

Beauchamp said the program was designed to reach the kids at an age when it can be hard to keep them interested in things. With an average attendance of 18 to 20 students, Youth Club is smaller than the Summer Reading Program, which had a total number of 636 participants, including adults, teens and children.

“It was cool,” Kaia said. “It was so fun.”

Asked if she would do it again next summer, Kaia’s answer was short: “Definitely.”

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1794 or

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