The Lenox Township Library was awarded the YALSA/Dollar General Summer Learning Grant. My idea for the grant was to reach as many teens in the area as possible. To accomplish this, I partnered with the local public schools food services director in order to attend their Meet Up and Eat Up summer lunch program. I decided to partner with the school this summer to help reach as many youth in the area as possible. During the summer, the school has SACC (school age child care) and summer camp programs. During the breakfast and lunch hours, all youth, 18 and younger, are allowed to come in for free. I saw this as a great opportunity to bring awareness of what the library has to offer as well as giving out books to the youth to bring home. I started the process by emailing the superintendent of the school district. I informed her of my plans and from there I was connected to the director of food services for the school. Overall, it was a smooth transaction and everyone involved was very excited to have me come in.
With this program, I think the only thing I would do differently is make sure I have either a teen volunteer or another staff member to help. There were higher numbers of youth than I had anticipated due to the summer camp programs. In many ways this is a great thing, however, because it was just me, I feel I could have reached more if I had a partner. Even with the craziness of it all, I will definitely partner with the school next summer.
Casee Hill is a Youth Librarian at Lenox Township Library.