[Grantees] 2016 Summer Learning Resource Grantee Space

This space is intended for the 2016 Summer Learning Resource grantees.

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Hi!  I am a Children Services Librarian for the Douglas County Library System (Oregon) at the main location in Roseburg. As the only librarian acting for youth in general at the moment in our system, I am trying to coordinate more teen related programming. This summer, I am hoping to bring a mobile tech lab to the 11 locations throughout our county.  The summer reading project will incorporate Scratch and Makey Makey together with fitness related projects such as dancing or yoga.  I am excited to have this grant to help purchase the implements needed to make this tech lab a success for teens.


I am Katie Badgley, the only Youth Librarian for all of the Genesee District Library's 19 branches all over Genesee County, Michigan. 

With the YALSA Summer Learning Grant, We are having motivational speaker and former WWE wrestler Zach Gowen come and do a two part interactive motivational workshop with the teens at our Beecher branch.  This branch is located in a very poverty stricken area at the north end of Flint, Michigan. Zach was the first one-legged wrestler in the WWE.  He lost his leg when he was a child and faced that challenge and other big obstacles such as drug and alcohol addiction.  He became a successful wrestler on "Smackdown!" with Hulk Hogan and those other famous guys!  We are very excited to be able to present this program.  We hope that it shows kids that they have the power to change their lives for the better and helps them develop goals and skills for success in both school and life.  I found Zach Gowen on "Coolspeak.net"  which has many great motivational programs for teens.

Julie, your SRP project sounds really interesting.  I would like to know more about the details,  I might be able to steal some of your ideas!   I am always looking for new and creative ideas to take out to the teens.

Thanks, Katie Badgley

Katie, I am incorporating an idea from the YALSA symposium in Portland this past year based on the following:  https://scratch.mit.edu/pathways/hiphop  

I thought it would be neat to incorporate Makey Makey as a controller for the dance themed scenes, such as:



I particularly like this idea of incorporating Makey Makey into a game pad for actual physical interaction on Scratch:


I am going to present the teens with the various options that they can create, then let them take their pictures, plan their sequences, and decide how to use Makey Makey with their dances. 

Julie, Thank you for that info!  Awesome!


Hello, I'm the Young Adult Librarian at Springdale Public Library (Arkansas). We have a number of children's staff but only me serving teens, although we do have a new staff member coming on board who is going to be backing me up in some areas. Our SRP for teens has been very hit or miss; we get reasonably good attendance at programs (because we provide lunch) but actually getting teens to sign up and participate in the reading program portion is problematic. I'm going to use the grant to purchase Chromebooks for use in our Teen Writing Workshop that we hold each summer; when they're not in use for the program, they'll be available for teens to check out. 

Hey everyone!  I'm the Programming Coordinator for the Lee County Library System in Fort Myers, FL. We're a system of 13 branches and bookmobile along the sunny Gulf Coast of Florida.  I've been with the system for 8 years and was previously the Youth Services Librarian at the Lakes Regional Library in Fort Myers.  

We're going to be using the grant funds for our Dunbar Jupiter Hammon Public Library.  This is a rough community predominately made up of African-Americans, but the Hispanic population is growing.  The kids in the neighborhood are looking for positive places to spend their time, rather than getting involved with the gun violence that has plagued the community. (This past year a 5-year-old was shot and killed. A witness retracted her statement and no one else in the community is talking. Another child was shot this year.)   We've had lots of luck with TAG recently at this branch and they were so excited to hear that we'll be getting a Playstation 4 through the grant and they've already started choosing the games.  We want a haven for these kids.  Very excited to get started with the project!

Hi everyone! I am Elise Martinez, the Teen Services Specialist at the Zion-Benton Public Library in the northern Chicago suburbs.

I work in a predominately lower income community wherein teens don't have reliable methods of transportation. We noticed that teens mostly use their bikes or skateboards to navigate their way around our community. As a result, we're going to capitalize on this trend and partner with businesses that will allow us to connect teens to larger opportunities with their transportation methods. We're going to be partnering with our local bike shop to teach bike maintenance and safety. Since we also want to connect their interests to the larger world, we'll be hiring a former BMX biker to discuss his experiences with our teens. He'll also lead a demonstration of tricks and give tips on breaking into the industry. We are also doing a skateboarding component with our local skate park and hiring a skateboarding professional to teach students tricks and tips. We're ultimately going to tie all of these programs into our Summer Reading program's theme, which is Read for the Win. We will also be providing reading materials and books to teens that attend our programs to connect their interests to reading in hopes of inspiring new readers and encourage summer learning.

My name is Lindsey Tomsu, and I am the Teen Librarian at the La Vista Public Library in La Vista, Nebraska. We are using the grant funds to start a new program called the BUILD Collective. The BUILD (“Building to Uphold Imagination and Learning Daily”) Collective's goal is to provide teens with educational “toys”, based around the theme of building, that will foster their imaginations and help them become more creative individuals while also allowing them a chance to do something hands-on and potentially stress relieving. The various programs that will be offered through the Collective will give teens a chance to focus on something that isn’t necessarily academic (and stressful) which gives them a short-term purpose and goal that will come with a sense of accomplishment which will not only be fun but also educational.

We will be purchasing various building "toys". Some are traditional (Lincoln Logs, Dominos, etc.), some are STEM-related, some abstract (you build things that aren't easily identifiable), and some "unusual" (you can build identifiable things but the materials are unusual in texture, structure, etc.). We will also get some storage bins to make storing the kits easy and transporting them easy.

One of the programs we are looking at doing this summer is a Builders’ Faire. Over a two- or three-day period, teens can come and work on a large-scale project. They would cover all aspects of creative building—the idea, preliminary designs, creating a supply list, making a small prototype, building the full-scale model, and then exhibiting it. The camp would end with a presentation of the designs that get judged by local community members (maybe the mayor, the library director, an architect).

Hello, I am the Teen Librarian at the Grafton-Midview Public Library which is located about 30 miles from Cleveland, Ohio.    This year, I plan to offer a fitness-themed summer reading program to teens with the slogan Get in the Game Read.  I am changing the format up slightly this year and plan to count pages and steps to qualify for prizes.  Teens will receive simple pedometers as they sign up for the program. I will also be offering several fitness-themed programs through a local recreation center including archery, fencing, bubble ball, and more.  A few other highlights from the summer will include programs focused on drones, puppetry, and smart snacking.  A new Pages and Pizza book and graphic novel discussion group will also be introduced.

The grant funds will be used to enhance the summer reading program at the Library itself and extend the program to two additional sites where the Library offers a Free Lunch program.  Each of these neighborhoods are economically disadvantaged and teens in the two outlying areas are also disconnected from the Library due to the distance and lack of Internet access.  The Free Lunch Program has been very successful over the past two years and I viewed this success as an opportunity to introduce my program offerings there.  I plan to visit the additional sites once per week.  Teens will have the opportunity to sign up for Library cards, request books, and fully participate in the summer reading program.  I will mobilize as many of my program offerings as possible and supplement with additional arts and crafts and gaming activities as needed.

I look forward to a fun summer and taking my program on the road.    


Just got our check!  Can't wait to get started.

John, Your program sounds great! It sounds like you are really making a difference by extending it out to those additional sites where it is needed.

Hi, I am Linda Gray, and am the Youth Services Librarian at the Tyler Public Library in Tyler TX. I am very excited to just have finished a telephone interview with a journalist writing for American Libraries; she was interested in our Hi Lo grant, the Summer Learning Resource Grant. I look forward to seeing it in a summer edition. 

Our learning resource program will be geared towards students at Tyler ISD's Discipline Alternative Education Program (DAEP), where Tyler ISD (TISD) students are placed after having some sort of disciplinary issues at their home campus. The school has students in grades 1st through 12th, but my focus is on the students in grades 6 through 12. This is a good program, but a big drawback is no school library on this campus. 

I work actively with the middle school teacher at this program, Ashley Griffin, and she really encourages her students to read. She invited me to come visit her campus a few years ago, and since then, I visit a few times during the school year. I talk to the students about getting library cards and using our ebooks and encourage them to come to borrow books from our location.  Ms. Griffin pointed out some HI Lo books that her students really enjoy, especially the Bluford Series, and said there are a lot of these titles no longer available from the library. Turns out these titles are very popular, and have a low return rate. I was able to purchase more from this series and found some other series for our YA collection.

Our summer program will involve purchasing some paperback copies of more Hi Lo books, and when telling Ms. Griffin's students that they should read over the summer, give them something to read. I also want to give them a coupon to come in to get another book, and provide lists of other new titles they can check out over the summer. In the fall, some of the new titles that I'll purchase with the grant monies will go to Ms. Griffin's classroom library for a long term loan. 

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