It’s just a couple of months until the end of school and you are busy finalizing your schedule of summer programs. Take a look at the list. Do you see a lot of creative and fun events for young children and families? Fantastic. How about for teens? If the answer is, “Not so much,” do not despair. You are not alone.
Many libraries have summer schedules that skew toward a younger audience. Thinking of ideas for teens may seem like a challenge, but does not need to be.
Successful programming for teens is more customized than programs for young children. Teens respond well to programs where they can interact with their peers and lead the action, rather than being led. Involve teens in the planning and development of your programs to make them more relevant. Include themes that are familiar to them from popular culture. Teens can benefit from more sophisticated programming that tests their critical thinking, has them thinking about future goals, and helps them solve problems. Of course they also want to have fun while doing all this!
This may seem like a tall order, but the good news is that we are here to help! Many performers on educationalperformers.org have programs geared especially for teens. For example, in James Wand’s Absolutely Fabulous Magic Class, teens are transformed into magicians as James teaches them how to perform top-secret magic tricks, using skills such as acting, storytelling, misdirection and dexterity. Kids leave the class with a wealth of new information and the tools (and materials) to put together an entire magic show for friends and family. Information on James Munton’s Absolutely Fabulous Magic Class and other innovative teen summer programs is available here.