The Winter Park Public Library is stepping into 2018 with focused energy for its TWEEN patrons, children ages 10 to 12 typically in fifth to seventh grade. This sometimes overlooked group of youngsters, who fall in a transitional age range between school age and teen years, are invited to join the WPPL Tween Advisory Board where they’ll experience educational and leadership classes that uniquely challenge their reading skills, engage them in community service efforts and give these kids a chance to socialize and connect with other tweens.
“It is amazing to watch kids in this age group take ownership of library programming and get excited about reading and working together,” said Grace Moore, Tween Librarian. Participating in the Tween Advisory Board is a great opportunity for them to learn to share ideas, engage with each other, and serve their community putting them a step ahead before entering high school,” added Moore.
Highlights of membership on the Tween Advisory Board, which meets the last Tuesday of the month from 6:30 to 7:30pm, include reviewing books for the library even advanced copies of some manuscripts before they are published. Advisory board members plan upcoming events offering input on trends and interests. The board advises on all elements of WPPL’s tween programming, including Ravenous Readers book club, Minecraft builds, hands-on science experiments, art classes and more. Finally, the advisory board is a platform for tweens to give back with community service opportunities.
In addition to the advisory board, tweens can attend scheduled events such as the upcoming pizza baking class, instruction on drawing manga and western style cartoons, baking mug cakes for Valentine’s Day and an introduction to 3-dimensional design. In April, WPPL is hosting a contest for 3D design, and in May, a short story contest to help fuel their competitive spirits. Lastly, every month at WPPL are book clubs, Lego builds and Pokémon trading meetups for tweens to enjoy. The first Saturday in June will be the summer reading kickoff, “Libraries Rock!” Tweens will be hosting a booth at the event and will themselves be challenged to read and log titles throughout the summer with prizes awarded.
Tweens can also find their own spaces to get homework done, get homework help or to just relax on the second floor between the Children’s Room and Teen Lounge. This area features popular fictional characters like Harry Potter and Percy Jackson and “chalk art” by local tweens. An entrance table with suggested readings greet tweens urging them to select a book around the theme “learn a new skill in the new year.” There is also a designated reading area and a room to study and use library computers loaded with all the software needed for school or personal projects.
Registration to attend any of the WPPL tween classes can be done directly off the calendar section of the library’s website, wppl.org, or by calling 407.623.3300.