Blast off! Explore Summer offers a universe of stories, plus WNBA hoops

A universe of stories awaits kids who sign up for Sno-Isle Libraries’ annual summer reading and discovery program, Explore Summer.

The “Universe of Stories” theme focuses on space and science, said Jen Sullivan, lead librarian for student success.

In addition, the Seattle Storm is supporting Explore Summer this year.

Explore Summer launch events are taking place at 22 community libraries from June 8 – July 13. Attendees 18 years and under can tip off their summer reading with the opportunity to receive two complimentary tickets to either the Storm’s Aug. 2 or Aug. 8 regular-season home game at Angel of the Winds Arena. A limited supply of vouchers will be available at the launch events.

“The Seattle Storm is committed to the health, wellness and education of youth across the greater Puget Sound region, and literacy programs, such as those with Sno-Isle Libraries, play a critical role in the continued development of kids outside of the school year,” said Nate Silverman, Senior Vice President of Corporate Partnerships and Social Responsibility for the Storm. “The Explore Summer reading program encourages kids to improve reading skills and to have fun doing it.”

During Explore Summer, participants pledge to read for at least 10 hours between June 1 and Aug. 31, Sullivan said. Kids will get a free book as a reward for completing their reading pledge.

While librarians will have summer reading recommendations for Explore Summer, kids can follow their hearts.

“Kids get to read whatever they want to read,” Sullivan said.

That can include comic books, magazines, newspapers, or being read to by a parent or listening to an audiobook, she said. It all counts.

Sno-Isle Libraries will expand its Explore Summer partnership with the Snohomish County Boys & Girls Clubs, Sullivan said.

The partnership started with four clubs in 2017, then grew to eight clubs with 602 participants in 2018, she said. This year, Sno-Isle Libraries will work with 15 Boys & Girls Clubs across the library district.

The partnership benefits both organizations, she said.

“We reach a group of kids we don’t otherwise see,” Sullivan said. “It’s always great when we’re working with other youth-focused community organizations. It shows we’re working together to meet the needs of families.”

Explore Summer Kickoff Events

Arlington: Candy Sushi, noon June 20, and Sarvey Wildlife, 2 p.m. June 25

Brier: Space Dog from Planet K-9, 11 a.m. June 22

Camano Island: Blast Off, 2 p.m. June 28

Clinton: Rock On, 11 a.m. June 8

Coupeville: Alex Zerbe, 11 a.m. June 26

Darrington: Space Quest, 3 p.m. June 29

Edmonds: Space Quest, 4 p.m. June 18

Freeland: Space Quest, 2 p.m. June 25

Granite Falls: Elephant Umbrella’s Destination Space, 2 p.m. June 29

Lake Stevens: Journey to the Moon, 10 a.m. July 13

Langley: Museum of Flight Portable Planetarium, 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. June 20

Lynnwood: Alex Zerbe, 4 p.m. June 26

Mariner: Space Slime, 3 p.m. June 27, and LEGO Block Party, 4 p.m. July 12

Marysville: Reptile Man, 11 a.m. June 29

Mill Creek: Space Quest, 3 p.m. June 20

Monroe: Astronaut Certification, 10:45 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:15 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 2:45 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 4:15 p.m. June 29

Mountlake Terrace: Alex Zerbe, 6:30 p.m. June 26

Mukilteo: Space Dog from Planet K-9, 2 p.m. June 29

Oak Harbor: Museum of Curious Things, 1 p.m. June 25

Snohomish: Science Tellers, 4 p.m. June 21

Stanwood: Come to a Cosmic Celebration, 1 p.m. June 29

Sultan: Lunar Toons, 3 p.m. July 3


The Seattle Storm is a three-time WNBA championship team committed to bringing a premium professional basketball and entertainment experience to a fan base rich in tradition and support. The organization places high value on community and building platforms to positively impact the overall entertainment, attraction and economy of the Puget Sound region. In addition, the Storm is dedicated to local youth development in the areas of fitness and wellness; with a special emphasis on inspiring leadership, motivation and the empowerment of girls and women. For more information, please visit