For the second year in a row, the Emporia Public Library received the American Society of Radiologic Technologists National Library Partnership Grant for $1,000.

Radiographer Melinda Chiroy and Library Director Robin Newell worked together to apply for the grant after Chiroy saw the opportunity at a conference last year. This year, they were invited to apply again, and once again received the grant.

The library then received a list of STEM-related materials available for purchase with the grant, which included both books and manipulatives. Newell decided the most effective means for getting helpful and fun information out into the community would include creating STEM kits with three children’s books and two manipulatives for elementary-aged kids. The books include “X-Ray Me,” “Tom’s MRI Space Adventure” and “The Donut that Roared.” The manipulatives include a kit to make a magnetic build-a-body kit and an X-ray machine.

The Emporia Public Library will donate the kits to the Americus, Elmendaro and Lyon County public libraries, as well as to each of the Lyon County elementary schools next week. In addition, the library added other manipulatives and about a dozen children’s and adult radiology books to its collection. The Emporia Public library donated radiology books to these locations last year after receiving the grant, too.

“What’s so impressive to me is that it was Robin’s idea to share it with the public schools,” Chiroy said. “We get information out about the sciences to the elementary schools, which is where we want children to become interested in radiology and the science field and medical field.”

“The STEM kits are all about X-rays, they’re all about MRIs, and we know that there’s a lot of children now who ... have [family members] that are not well, so MRIs and X-rays, and those types of diagnostic tests are talked about in the home,” Newell said. “This helps them understand a little bit more about what’s happening to their family member and takes away some of that fear and some of that anxiety.”

One of the aims of these kits is to help teach kids everyone is the same on the inside. The combination of books and tactile tools share that lesson. Pushing information about health is a way to “help you and your family in your health journey,” Newell said.

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