LAFCU Program Appeals to Budding Young Astronauts and Space Travelers

    Each month, Lansing-based credit union LAFCU works with community partners to put on virtual events for its Listen & Learn program. The events are always free and designed for children up to 12 years old. This month’s event is space-themed and will take place Wednesday, June 30, at 7 p.m.

    The evening will consist of a virtual visit to the Abrams Planetarium, followed by a virtual visit to the Impression 5 Science Center, and a live reading from the Briggs District Library. There will also be a drawing to give away three $20 eGift cards for a bookstore.

    At the planetarium, director Shannon Schmoll, Ph.D., will give the children a tour of the constellations that appear in the Michigan summer night sky. Next, Sandy Seelhoff-Ely will teach kids about space travel and the earth’s atmosphere with a presentation from the Impression 5 Science Center, a museum designed for families. Finally, Briggs District Library programming librarian Erin Faivor will read Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola’s “Rocket Says Look Up!” to the children.

    According to NASA, “Young children are natural scientists. They show interest in the sun, moon, and stars at a very early age.” Organizers hope to foster this interest in children, calling all “budding young astronauts, star-catchers, [and] space-travelers.”

    “Reading encourages kids to dream big,” LAFCU chief marketing officer and chief diversity officer Kelli Ellsworth Etchison said of the Listen & Learn program. “This is center-stage in LAFCU Listen & Learn Space & Science. Enhancing critical reading and learning skills is important to the future success of our communities.”

    LAFCU began its Listen & Learn program in response to the pandemic, wanting to provide an educational and fun space for reading. The program hosts live (virtual) events, they upload children’s book readings on their YouTube channel, and they offer ongoing virtual readings of children’s books by phone.

    Registration for the virtual LAFCU Listen & Learn event is at Using a provided web link, registrants can view the event on computers, tablets, smartphones and smart TVs. No additional software is required.

    The Michigan credit union created the LAFCU Listen & Learn Program in response to the pandemic to provide a new option for a fun way for kids to learn, listen, read and interact. In addition to live events, the program also offers ongoing virtual readings of children’s books by phone, 517.622.6789, and YouTube videos, Volunteer readers can register at