Sunday, May 6, 2012

Daring to Be Different

It's May...which means that Summer Reading "planning" month is in full effect.  I feel behind actually, since the calendar of events for the younger kids and tweens is already full in my library, and the teen calendar is seriously lacking at the moment.

Planning the summer reading program this year has actually felt a lot like cleaning my room.  You know, you get really excited about how your room will look once you're done, and you start digging in, but before you know it your room is messier than it began and you find yourself sitting in a pile of trash wanting to say "never mind".  That pile of trash is my Pinterest board right now. LOL

I knew from the very beginning that I was not going to want to follow the state SRP(Summer Reading Program) theme.  I'm sure that "Own the Night" is perfect for some, but my teens and even myself if I'm being honest, would have looked at it with a lot less than enthusiasm.  No shade on anyone using it, but it just makes me think of a rape prevention event. :/

Our department decided to do our own thing this year, with a "What's Your Story" theme to highlight story, magic, fairy tales, folk tales, etc. For the teens, this will be the first year that they have their very own program, and I don't feel that I've been too ambitious.  At least not yet.

The theme I've chosen is Heroes Vs. Villains.  This way we're still keeping with the idea of story, but focusing in on character.  The problem (and positive) however, is that while I thought it would bring a focus, it is truly an open-ended idea!  It has opened to doors to real-life heroes and villains, superheros, comics, video games, etc.  So reigning all of that in has been a trial.

I've also been investigating ways to get the teens more involved in our social media and planning their own program.  Posting ideas we discuss in our teen room chats onto the Facebook page for voting, and hosting ongoing contests through our Tumblr, are just a few of the preliminaries.  As for the program itself, I really want to embrace all areas of their lifestyle.  I'm incorporating a punch-card check in system, so that they can immediately see a difference between their check-in procedure and that of our younger kids who bring in huge game boards to mark their reading progress.

I've also made sure that they can check in for more than just book reading.  Teens will be allowed to receive a punch on their card for reading a book, magazine, website,or newspaper.  They will also get credit for playing video games, getting exercise, or using social media.  My hope is that it will give each teen some exposure to the different forms of media.  In all fairness, I didn't want some who ONLY play video games or ONLY read books to gain advantages so they can only use that space once a week for credit.

We've tossed around a few programming ideas, including a Dark Knight Ball to coincide with the release of the new Batman film, and a Superhero art workshop.  They've given some great ideas and I really want to honor as many of them as I can.  I will try my best to keep updating this blog as things develop, in the hopes of keeping my own tracking as well as to help any others who are planning on moving out on their own!  I know there will be a few mistakes, but I'm also confident that I won't regret attempting something new.


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