Thursday, August 5, 2010

Summer Reading Program Event Reflection #3

This is my last Summer Reading Program Event Reflection. This post will focus on the design of my teen program and the events I presented.

My library has never had a Summer Reading Program just for teens. They were lumped into a "Ten & Up" category and have to read 10-20 books in the five weeks to qualify for prizes. As I had the time and skills, I decided to volunteer as the Teen Summer Reading Program Coordinator.

I designed a Bingo card for the teens to use. Their goal was to get 2 bingos. That entitled them to a certificate, t-shirt, goodie bag, and an entry into the grand prize drawing. I tried to make the Bingo card interesting and about more than reading because I know some teens just don't like to read. Squares included water activities, volunteering, attending programs, reading, using the computers, etc. 24 teens signed up and 11 completed the program.

Here are some general reflections about the program: The bingo squares that I took to be self explanatory confused some of the teens. For 4 out of 5 of the programs, the same two teens attended. I surveyed the teens that completed the program and found that one had basketball practice, Saturdays weren't good for two, and others either forgot or weren't interested. I was surprised to find out that two teens suggested I provide better activities (i.e., events) for them. One of said teens did not attend any programs. The other only attended one. Sigh. Maybe I'll have better luck next year. I would like to form a Teen Summer Reading Program advisory group. Then the events would be of their choosing.

The following is my reflections on the individual events. The links are to the event plans on my wiki.

Event #1 (Battleship Tournament)
Only two teens attended. I decided to go low tech and use the battleship board from the CSLP manual. If I repeat this program, I would like to use the actual game. I thought this program would have appealed to guys, but they were a no show. Perhaps I'll have a game program in November.

Event #2 (Puppet Play Practice)
This event had to be rescheduled, but it went well. The same two teens showed up. They enthusiastically picked out a play and made the puppets. I see many more puppet plays in the library's future.

Event #3 (Percy Jackson Party)
Again, the same two teens attended. I found it funny that neither of them had read the books. I have only read the first book. They liked the PJ version of "rock, paper, scissors" that I found on PUBYAC. I would like to repeat this program maybe for the tween crowd. I think it would be popular if advertised enough.

Event #4 (Watertight Book Club)
It might have helped if my teens that showed up had read the book. One had read it in the last few months, but it wasn't fresh enough to hold a discussion. They did like the “create your own historical character” activity. Book clubs for this age group have been tried, but they are never well attended.

Event #5 (Make Waves Craft Session)
This was the best attended program, but I don't think it was the most popular. After having only two teens attend the previous four events, I didn't put too much preparation into this program. I also had a very small budget to work with ($40 for all 15 programs). We had one guy attend, so in the future I need to plan more unisex crafts.

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