While planning a program with/for teens, it’s always important to ask yourself questions your teens will ask: “Is it too much like school?”, “Why should I participate?”, and perhaps the most important, “What’s in it for me?”
While giving back and doing for the benefit of others is all well and good, teens often find themselves with too many activities and not enough time. They pick what to spend their free time doing, and often that last question helps them decide. Will they get community service hours? Or something to put on the resume/college application? But often, it can be as simple as a reward for participating.
I am sure that while teens like to read, many of them also participate in summer reading programs in order to have a chance a some great prizes, as so many of us offer in our programs. But with our shrinking (or non existent) budgets, how can we provide incentives teens will want?