Teen Read Week Dollar General Literacy Spotlight, Lindsey Tomsu

LaVistamuralLindsey Tomsu, of the La Vista Public Library in Nebraska, is the unofficial queen of the life-sized board games. ‘ She and her TAB already cooked up a life-size Candy Land board game, as well as an enormous version of their personal favorite, Arkham Horror. ‘ Lindsey and her TAB received the Dollar General Literacy Foundation grant for her Teen Read Week programming, another colossal board game: a life-sized Life! ‘ Here’s a bit more about her and her program:

Where did you get such a great idea?

Back in the summer of 2011, my TAB ended up doing a Life-Size Candy Land game for the kids at the library. It was a bunch of fun making the game props and such. We did the old school version pre-candy characters. So in the summer of 2012 we decided to apply for the TRW grant and do a life-size version of our favorite board game, Arkham Horror, which compared to Candy Land was way more work and more detail. Over the course of the two and a half months leading up to TRW my teens volunteered nearly 353 hours to make that program a reality. More information about this program can be seen in our article in School Library Journal. Continue reading

Teen Read Week: Dollar General Literacy Foundation Spotlight, Dawn Abron

Dawn Abron - Zion-Benton Public Library, Teen Associate

Dawn Abron – Zion-Benton Public Library, Teen Associate

Meet Dawn Abron. She WOWED the Teen Read Week Committee with her Dollar General Literacy Foundation Grant application this year. We’d like to thank Dawn for taking some time out of her busy week to tell us about what she did with the SEEK THE UNKNOWN theme.

1. Describe your TRW YALSA/Dollar General Literacy Foundation Grant.

Teens in our district enjoy writing short stories so we decided to showcase their passion of writing with an annual competition.’  We used the grant to fund our First Annual ZB Inked Short Story Competition.’  We had two categories: high school and middle school.’  First, second, and third place winners were rewarded with a Kindle Fire, a Kindle Paperwhite, and a $50 movie theater gift card.

We began our TRW with a short story boot camp.’  We invited a local author and creative writing teacher, Kathi Baron, to give teens tips for writing great short stories.

2. Tell us a little about your teens’ stories.

Teens used this year’s theme, Seek The Unknown, as the theme for their short stories.’  Our teens really ran with the theme and entered fantasy stories about a girl who was given the gift of radiance through fireflies; men trapped in the Amazon with giant, deadly spiders; and a girl from Mars with an interesting past.’  Continue reading

Teen Read Week: Dollar General Literacy Foundation Spotlight, Jennifer Schureman

JennyJennifer Schureman, head of Youth Services/YA Librarian from the Gloucester County Library System in New Jersey is one of the Teen Read Week 2013 Dollar General Literacy Foundation recipients. Her programming caught the eye the Teen Read Week Committee for its innovation, and incorporation of the Teen Read Week theme on such a large scale.

Here’s more about her Teen Read Week 2013 program:

 

Your Teen Read Week 2013 program is “Seeking the Secrets of NJ” can you briefly explain this and tell us what was your inspiration, and who was involved in planning this amazing adventure?
The inspiration for our program “Seeking the Secrets of NJ” came about because 2014 is the 350th Birthday of the State of New Jersey.’  It was the first time that I could incorporate such a commemorative event into the theme of Teen Read Week “Seek the Unknown @ your library”.’  The entire Youth Services Department of the Gloucester County Library System got together to share their amazing ideas about how to make this program fun and exciting for our teens.’  The program that emerged from this meeting will be both fun and informative for the teens.’  A “statewide scavenger hunt” is the basis of the program.’  Teens will perform activities including geocaching, internet searches, and code breaking along with traditional scavenger hunt clues, to uncover little known facts about the State of New Jersey. Continue reading

Teen Read Week: Focus on Dollar Store Grant Winner, Cathy Andronik

In honor of Teen Read Week and all the creative ideas librarians are busy planning and implementing this time of year, the Teen Read Week committee decided that we would post interviews with some of the winners of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation’s Teen Read Week grant. Ten librarians won $1,000 to implement their idea for Teen Read Week within their communities, but why only list their names in the official press release? We know you want to know what their grant-winning idea was, so this week and next week, be sure to check the YALSA blog as we pepper you with the interviews where we give you all the details.

The lovely Cathy Andronik

The lovely Cathy Andronik

First up, is Cathy Andronik from Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk, CT. The two high schools in this urban area about an hour north of New York City each serve around 1700 students and the librarians frequently share good ideas, including their lunchtime book clubs. This could very well be because they used to work in the same school, as Cathy explains. “Until about three years ago, there were two librarians at each high school; then budget cuts forced a staff reduction to one per high school.’  Seniority enters the picture, and my wonderful colleague ended up at our crosstown rival.’  She and I had run a lunchtime book club together for several years already, sometimes through a YALSA grant, other times scrounging money wherever we could find it.’  We worked so well together, we promised each other that somehow we would find a way to combine our two clubs.”

Continue reading

Mini Grants for 2013 Summer Reading Programs

Applications are still being accepted for two kinds of mini grants for 2013 summer reading programs made possible by YALSA and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.’  Apply today!

  • Summer Reading Funding: Twenty libraries that provide programming to underserved teens will receive $1,000 to support their outstanding literacy focused summer reading program.
  • Summer Reading Teen Assistant Funding: Twenty $1,000 grants are available to be used to recruit, train and compensate teen assistants to help with summer reading programs.

Books_DG_LitfinalIndividual library branches within a larger system may apply.’  Deadline extended to January 14, 2013.‘  Apply at www.ala.org/yalsa/awardsandgrants/yalsaawardsgrants.