Thursday, September 13, 2012

New Program Description Series

With the start of our English, nutrition, cooking, and computer classes, our schedules have finally been finalized and we have finally gotten into the swing of things. All our workloads just got heavier and our time more constricted, but everyone is thriving so far. Since we've finally started all our programs, it's a great time to begin a weekly blog write up describing each of our programs written by the director of that program. The series will include a description of the program, what is currently happening within the it, and what the director envisions for the it over their next year of shaping the program.  I'll be starting the series describing our Teen Center, which is run by Peter, Jenny, and myself. 

The Teen Center is a separate part from our library that only children 12 years old and above are able use. This provides their own unique, mature space that they can hang out in when they want to escape the potentially wild atmosphere that is the library. The space has a crafts, board games, a ping pong table, and the biggest draw, the video game corner. While it doesn't seem like much, it means so much for the kids that can enter, and even more to the kids that can't. I witnessed for my first time yesterday the pure elation that a kid gets when he can finally enter. Bryan had turned 12 the day before yesterday and couldn't wait to get in. I think I played ping pong with him for a solid two hours before he got tired of it, and God was he awful. We also hold events specifically for the teens. This mostly comes in the form of a movie night every month where we bring our projector and create a mini theater for the kids on a Friday night. Our first one is September 21st and the kids are already excited. While movie nights are great, we are going to expand upon the idea of a monthly event this year. 
For October, we are planning on a hosting a salsa class for the kids, free of charge, led by our friend Danny who happens to be a member for the Ecuadorian Salsa team that competes globally. Yeah, we know. However, what we are most excited for is that our Thanksgiving volunteer group from UGA has chosen the Teen Center as it's focus project. We've decided to wait till then to do a huge remodeling of the space. We are planning on painting the area, building new furniture, tearing down useless parts, and generally doing a massive sprucing up of the space. Besides more events and a remodeling, my fellow directors and I have set the goal of turning the Teen Center into a more educational area. This will include setting up small library specifically for the teens, which will hopefully include subscriptions to a few magazines to keep the area updated and interesting. The big task will be getting the kids away from the video games. While extremely helpful in drawing them in, we also want them to take advantage of the space we provide and get something out of it besides how to beat Super Mario in an hour.
View of the Teen Center 

Jenny Prepping for the Kids


The Game Corner

If you would like to contribute to the Teen Center to help us achieve these goals, you can make a donation on the right side of the blog and simply specify the Teen Center. If you would like to contribute in a more direct way, you can send us anything in the list on the right side to our office in Nashville where it will find a way to us and be less of a dent in your pocket. Thank you for your continued interest and support.

Next week: Children's Art by Polly Colgan

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