Fitness Friday #2: Wii “Just Dance” Off

This was, quite possibly, the easiest program ever.wii2

Step 1: Set up the Wii and the TV

Step 2: Provide healthy snacks (grapes, carrots, etc)

Step 3: Let the kids have fun

The tweens and teens decided they weren’t really interested in having a competition, so we just let them hang out, dance, and have a good time. I also put out a few titles -both fiction and nonfiction – about dancing for them to check out.

Total attendance: 14 teens. Not bad, not bad. 🙂 Hooray for easy programming.

Booklist: 

Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

Pointe by Brandy Colbert

And so many more.

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Fitness Friday #1: Yoga

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For our first Fitness Friday, we had a teen yoga class. It was lead by certified instructor, Shannon Red Cloud, who owns the local yoga studio.

Shannon began the class by having the teens write down how they were feeling on a piece of paper. She then spoke about yoga as a means of self care and how, both physically and emotionally, it’s important not to “move into a place of pain.” Shannon did a beautiful job us using yoga as a metaphor for life before leading our intrepid teens into a series of poses.

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At the end of the class, Shannon had the teens write down their feelings on their papers again to see if anything had changed.

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I was really pleased that a few guys turned up for our program. I’ve been trying to convince them that things like yoga aren’t “just for girls.” We all need to take care of ourselves. Hopefully, the teens walked away with the knowledge that yoga can be a way to do that.

Total Attendance: 8 teens

Resources:

Yoga for Teens by Shawna Schenk

Yoga Exercises for Teens: Developing a Calmer Mind and a Stronger Body by Helen Purperhart

Breathe: Yoga for Teens by Mary Kay Chryssicas

Teen Yogi – Yoga for Teenagers (DVD)

On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!

Brace-Yourselves Summer Reading
I am so, so stinking excited for Summer Reading this year. Last summer, I was so busy juggling the children’s programs (since our YS Librarian quit) that I didn’t get a chance to develop the teen program the way I wanted to. This year, however, all of that will change.

Our county, Wasco, has the highest childhood obesity rate in all of Oregon. So this year’s SR theme, “On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!” is perfect for getting tweens and teens excited about staying active and healthy this summer.

The Plan:

Part 1: Fitness Fridays

  • Every Friday at 4:00 pm, I’ll have a different teen program. Each one will place an emphasis on some type of health or wellness activity: yoga, tai chi, self-defense, fencing, zen gardening, etc.
  • At each event, I’ll put out a book display – both fiction and nonfiction – relating to the topic of the day. That way, I’m still incorporating a literacy component and encouraging the teens to extend their learning outside of the class.

Part 2: Summer Reading BINGO

  • Our Bingo Cards this year will be a mix of reading and physical activities, continuing our theme of staying both mentally and physically active this summer.
  • Each BINGO a teen completes will earn them a raffle ticket and a chance to win our Grand Prize: a whitewater rafting trip for four down the Deschutes River. We’ll also give away smaller prizes (ex: movie passes) once a month.

Part 3: Market, Market, Market

  • A class set of SR Reading event flyers will be given to every teacher at both the middle and high school
  • A pre-recorded message will be played weekly on the local radio
  • Events will be pushed heavily on social media, especially Facebook, where we’ll share our Teen Summer Reading Commercial 

I’m so excited I can barely stand it! Here’s hoping my tweens and teens have an exciting and educational summer.

Humans vs. Zombies

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So I asked my TLAB (Teen Library Advisory Board) students what they wanted to do for Halloween this year. And the verdict was unanimous: Humans vs. Zombies. With NERF guns. After hours. In the library.

*Cue hysterical laughter*

Don’t get me wrong: I love crazy, off-the-wall programs. But the prospect of hosting a full-fledged NERF war in the stacks after dark made me a little nervous. Would the Director go for it? Would people show up? Would we actually be able to pull it off?

Fortunately, the answer to all of those questions was yes. 🙂

IMG_1514In the weeks leading up to the event, we marketed our program. Hard. My volunteers made a commercial that was broadcast at the local high school and handed out flyers to all of their friends. Teens had to register in advance and fill out a liability waiver. I bought ten Zombie Strike NERF guns (since that’s all our budget would allow). The first ten registrants were guaranteed a gun; anyone else had to bring their own.

The night of, the teens arrived early. They “zombified” their shirts, did their makeup, and helped decorate the library. We used red paint to to create “blood splatter” on plastic tablecloths and hung caution tape. Then I turned them loose and had them shuffle around as our “starter” zombies. They snarled and lurched as the “human” participants arrived at the library. 🙂

The game play was pretty simple. We herded all the visiting teens into the survival shelter (aka our meeting room) for review of the rules.

Everyone, except my volunteers, started out as humans. Humans could shoot zombies anywhere but the head (our zombies were a special mutation). A zombie who got shot by a human had to go to a penalty box for 1 minute before rejoining the game. Any human who got two-hand touched by a zombie was “turned,” had to surrender their gun, and don a green “zombie” bandana. Myself, our director, and another adult served as referees.

In total, we had 24 teens participate in our Humans vs. Zombies Program. This one’s definitely going to be an annual event for us. 🙂

The Project: Teen Film Club

UnmaskSloganSometimes, a good teen program just falls into your lap. Which is precisely what happened just a few weeks ago here at my new library.

I was working on our Teen Summer Reading Program when someone in Circ called for me. I popped out of the back to see four, eager teenagers waiting for me. They said they’s heard I was the new teen librarian and that I was looking for program ideas:

“We love making movies and want a place do to it. Can we do it here? We’ll even bring our own equipment! Please? We could even do promotional videos for the library!”

Um, yes. A thousand times yes.

The program is only a month old, but we already have 5-8 kids who attend regularly. Their first project: making a Summer Learning Club promotional video. And I have to say, I may have started crying the first time I watched it. I’m so stinking proud.

Better yet, aside from benefiting us, this program meets an actual community need: our local high school doesn’t offer a film class, so the library is the only resource for these kids.

I’m so excited to see how this program will develop. 🙂

Drive-in-Movie: Polar Express

Movies are always a big hit at the library but, sometimes, you need to do something different to break up your routine. This month, we decided to host a “Drive-in-Movie” where our kids could decorate a sleigh to sit in while they watched Polar Express.

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To make the sleighs, we used old cardboard boxes left over from our quarterly FOL book sale. Our teen volunteers used box cutters to create “curvy” shapes and presto! Insta-sleigh. To keep this activity organized, we assembled all the pieces “buffet” style. That way, each child could gather his or her supplies and take their sleigh away to work on it.

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The kids had an absolutely fantastic time. There was glitter, tape, and wrapping paper everywhere! But the mess was half the fun. 🙂 Once the sleighs were built, our kids picked a cozy spot to sit and snuggled up with some popcorn to watch the movie.

In total, we had 25 kids and 12 parents at this event – not too bad for a Wednesday afternoon! We’ll be bringing this one back next year.

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Hunger Games Day

So…confession: I adore The Hunger Games. So do my teenagers which, of course, means programming. This year, though, I decided a single program wasn’t going to be enough. Instead, we planned an entire DAY dedicated to Ms. Everdeen. 🙂

Part 1: Hunger Games Archery Class

a1Yes. You read that right. Archery. At the library. We partnered with the Tampa Archery School to make this program happen and held it in our large, grassy yard.

Bryce Smith and several of his fellow instructors came out and brought all of the necessary supplies: bows, arrows, targets, etc. Bryce walked our teens through a fifteen minute orientation and lined them up to shoot.

And I have to say, for their first time out the gate, they did a pretty good job! Better than I could’ve done at any rate. 🙂

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Part 2: Mockingjay Movie Release Party

Food & Decorations:

Our color scheme was black and yellow, so I created parachutes with each of the twelve District crests and hung them (and some streamers) around the room. At the entrance, I had laminated bookmarks courtesy of Living Locurto. I also had a dystopian book display to encourage additional reading.

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Our menu included Cinna Sticks, Nightlock berries (blueberries), Cornucopias (Bugles), Peeta Bread & Hummus, and Catching Fire Cupcakes. The two dozen cupcakes were generously donated by Sweet Ida Mae’s Bakery.

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Crafts:

We offered two options for this program: locker magnets and bottle cap keychains/necklaces.
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Games:

We had two options available for our adventurers: “Pin the Mockingjay on Katniss” and “suction cup archery.”

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Afterwards, we all settled in to watch Catching Fire. I raffled off a copy of the trilogy and tickets to see Mockingjay.

In total we had 23 teens and tweens attend this event. I’m very much looking forward to doing it again next year!

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