Iola library launches summer reading
The Iola and Scandinavia libraries kicked off their summer reading program on June 12 with the Bubble Wonders show by Geoff Akins at Iola-Scandinavia Elementary School.
“We have had Bubble Wonders here in the past and he (Akins) has been a huge hit,” said Lisa Bauer, who is in charge of children’s programming at the Iola Village Library. “He is inspirational.”
Akins has been doing bubble shows for over 10 years.
“I was working in special education in a pre-school when I met a child on the autism spectrum and I was intrigued by that,” he said. “The boy had not had much interaction with anyone.”
One day while organizing a shelf of toys and toys, Akins found a bottle of bubbles.
“I didn’t know any tricks back then, but my inner child came out,” he said. ”As soon as I had it in my hand I felt embarrassed. There I was a grown man, but I was still going to blow bubbles.”
Embarrassed, he turned his back so no one would see.
“All of a sudden I could tell someone was watching me, so I turned around and there was this little boy with autism,” Akins said. “He came over to see what I was doing and that was the first time he interacted with me. I just kept blowing bubbles for as long as he was engaged.”
It was that powerful moment that lead Akins to doing Bubble Wonders shows.
For Akins, the show is more than just bubbles.
“You never know when a moment might change your life forever,” he said. “I want to be the person I would have wanted in my life as a child. And I want to create those moments for others.”
He kept his audience engaged as he blew a caterpillar bubble, a foggy bubble and even a square bubble.
“This show was a lot of fun,” Jessa Nickel. said “He even put a person in a bubble. That was really cool.”
Akins sends a message of persistence to his audience.
“Never give up,” he said. “Remember anything is possible.”
Other exciting programs to look for this summer at the Iola Village Library include reading to the dogs, stuffed animal sleep over, Mad Science show and more.
Bubble Wonders show was sponsored by the Iola Village Library, the Scandinavia Public Library and the Outagamie Waupaca Library System.