The Russellville Public Library’s youth summer reading program, with the theme “Oceans of Possibilities,” continued July 8.
Franklin County 4-H Agent Austin Blankenship led an educational program about marine litter – what it is, where it’s found, how it affects animals and the environment and what can be done about it.
“We talked about oil and other marine litter and how it influences our waterways and the importance of keeping our waterways clean for environmental, personal and wildlife health,” explained Blankenship.
Marine litter, he explained, includes litter in rivers and streams in addition to oceans. Trash on the street can eventually make its way into waterways.
He conducted an experiment to show what kind of trash floats on the water, sharing what floats or sinks and how oil being in water affects that. He pointed out clean water is important so people have safe water to drink and so animals living in oceans, rivers and streams have a safe place to call home.
The children also made octopuses out of cupcake liners and had the opportunity to get their faces painted by Shirley Jimenez of the Franklin County Extension.
Franklin County Extension Coordinator Katernia Cole Coffey also helped with the program activities.
“We’re glad to provide Extension programs for the community,” said Cole Coffey. “It’s very important to continue educational learning during the summer.”
Russellville Public Library Director Joshlyn Bowen said the event was another great program. “Austin did a great job interacting with the kids, and I want to thank the Extension office for helping orchestrate a great event.”