Reading Riot: Kudos to Our Teen Volunteers
With the busy Summer Reading Program (SRP) wrapping up, I want to send a huge shout out to our wonderful teen volunteers. Throughout the summer, these enthusiastic and hardworking young adults helped in so many ways. I don’t think SRP would have been as successful without them. By volunteering their time, the teens gained valuable work experience, earned service hours, met graduation requirements and simply filled the need to give back to the community.
One of the main jobs teen volunteers did was to help children register for SRP, log their reading, spin the wheel and get prizes. They also assisted with crafts and games during children’s programs. Some did clerical tasks or shelved books. Oftentimes, theirs were the first welcoming faces that greeted patrons who came into the library.
At the Warrenton branch, Youth Services Librarian Jennifer Schultz reported that she’s had a great group of volunteers this year with 25 teens, the largest number in several years. Many of the helpers were amazingly creative; they enjoyed painting and putting together the games like the ping pong toss and the ring toss.
“[They] love helping out,” Jennifer says. “Whenever I’ve needed extra volunteers for Celebrate America or Superhero Training School, I’ve had 7-8 volunteer for extra time, and they come dressed for the theme!”
John Marshall Volunteers
The Marshall branch library also had a dozen awesome volunteers eagerly doing any task that was asked of them. In particular, each Wednesday for Family Movie, these industrious teens set up chairs, made and served popcorn and at the end of the movie vacuumed up every crumb of popcorn that landed on the floor.
At Bealeton new friendships bloomed among the 12 volunteers. Working together, these teens discovered shared interest in movies, music and books like Erin Hunter’s Warrior series. They pitched in and made special events for children especially entertaining. During Superhero Training School, these fun-loving teens made their own superhero masks to wear while assisting children through the games and obstacle course. How fun is that?!?
The SRP volunteer service is finished for this year and those teen helpers deserve a big pat on the back. If you want to help next summer, and will be 13 years old, you can apply next spring.
In the meanwhile, recruitment for the Teen Advisory Group starts soon. This group of 6th graders and above meets monthly to plan and participate in library activities and service projects. Just complete the membership form or ask your librarian how to get involved.
If you’re a teen, there is something for you, at your local library!
Ann McDuffie, youth services librarian, Bealeton branch library