Libraries kick off the Summer Reading Program this week.

Brent Allan displays an interactive science environment as part of the Summer Reading Program at the St. Joseph Public Library.

The St. Joseph Public Library kicked off its 2019 Summer Reading Program on Tuesday with a trip into outer space.

Brent Allan created an interactive environment for kids to explore topics like rockets, outer space and gravity at three of the library’s branches. His show, which mixed comedy with science, fits this year’s theme for the summer reading program, “The Universe of Stories.”

“We just have tons of other events for all ages this summer,” said Misty Snider, children’s department manager at the Downtown branch.

Each week will feature a different performer at the library’s locations through Aug. 1. Programs will be held at the following locations and times:

Downtown branch at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays.

Carnegie branch at 1 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Washington Park branch at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays.

East Hills branch at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays.

Allan will perform at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 5, at the library’s East Hills branch. During June, another comedy event, balloon artist and science show are part of the program.

“This is just an incentive to keep them involved in reading so when they return to school they haven’t backtracked,” Snider said.

For teenagers, the library will be offering special programs, including pour painting, galaxy bath bomb making and “Stranger Things: The Escape Room.”

“I think this is just a way to enrich what they have been learning through the years,” Snider said. “We look at the summer reading program as a way to counteract that summer slide they get when they’re out of school.”