Library’s summer reading program focuses on trains

The Inter-Mountain photo by Bayli Helmick Vivienne Shepard, age 5, Jackson Shepard, age 6, Reed Burdette, age 6, and Rowan Dilly, age 3, listen intently Tuesday as Stephanie Murphy, interim director of the Elkins-Randolph County Library, reads the book ‘Two Little Trains’ by Margaret Wise Brown as part of the ‘ALL ABOARD!’ Elkins-Randolph Public Library Summer Reading Program.

ELKINS — Children gathered at the Elkins-Randolph Public Library Tuesday to take part in the “All ABOARD!” Summer Reading Program.

Stephanie Murphy, the interim director of the Elkins-Randolph Public Library, read the book ‘Two Little Trains’ by Margaret Wise Brown to the participating children.

The book followed an imaginary train and a toy train as they battled through the elements to reach the


Later, the children created and crafted their own steam engine trains with crayons and cardboard wheels to take home with them.

This year, the library is partnering with the West Virginia Railroad Museum and the Davis & Elkins Center for Railway Tourism to feature train-related readings and activities each week.

In correlation to the railroad theme, readings have taken place at the West Virginia Railroad Museum as well as the library, to provide a hands-on experience with trains and railway equipment.

“Reading is more than just a book, it’s an experience.” Murphy stated, “What we’re doing with this program is trying to get children to experience everything about the trains.”

The sessions are designed to teach children and their families about the local history of railways in Randolph County while also encouraging the children to read over the summer break.

The crafts and activities planned follow the “ALL ABOARD!” railway theme, bringing the children’s books to life through their own creations.

The reading program has received positive reviews by both children and parents alike, including local mother Tara Dilly.

“It’s something that he looks forward to every week,” Dilly said. “He loves trains so it was a perfect theme for a little boy.”

Dilly explained that the reading program has significantly impacted the learning and thought process of her child, Rowan Dilly.

“Just getting that 30 minutes to an hour that he is getting to engage with other children and watch other children has been good for him,” she said.

The next summer reading program will take place at the Elkins Train Depot at 10 a.m. Aug. 1. The reading will be the last of the summer for the annual program.

“Don’t miss the last one,” Murphy said. “The last one is going to have fun activities and games but it’s also in the atmosphere of trains at the Elkins Train Depot.”

The library is open to ideas for next year’s theme for the summer reading program, encouraging local parents and guardians to submit themes or ideas that their children are interested in.