Friday, August 31, 2012

Young Adults-Changing the World with Volunteering

I was inspired to write a blog post based on my wonderful experience with the teens I’ve been working with at the library this summer. On July 26, a nonprofit organization, HandsOn, orchestrated a week long program with a selected group of teens who showed interest in volunteer work.
The program is called,Teen Impact, and each day the group would work with other nonprofit organizations to give back to the community. I've been working with the HandsOn organization for their Teen Impact project, and I am thankful that the Richmond Public Library was one of the facilities chosen to be a part of their project!
I met the group at 9 a.m. and I could see the tired state the teens were in. They didn't look like a happy group at first. I guess teens are not morning people! They each staggered out of the van and had some type of Starbucks drink in their hand. The teens were unenthusiastic at first, but when I asked if I could take a picture they gave in.

When the teens got settled in, the program started with the group learning about how to conduct a story time with Ms. Beth, our Children's Library Associate at Main. They learned about puppetry, presentation, and using expressions when conducting a story time.

The Teen Impact group had an opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned during a story time for preschoolers. The kids loved the special treat they received from the group of teens.

After the story time, I gave the group a tour of the library.The teens were very fond of the Children's Department. I even shared a special moment with one of the kids when I helped her find Eric Carle's popular book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar (I love this book!).

"When We Were Young," featuring portraits by 
photographer Mark Mitchell of World War II veterans.
They also enjoyed our art exhibitions here at Main.

Observing the work of the late photographer, Louis H. Draper.

The teens also went outside and viewed our garden. They got the opportunity to taste the different varieties of mint. Later on that day they made signs/labels for the garden.
Another part of the Teen Impact project was to get the teens involved with the arts, and this included a session with the group making bracelets out of magazines, which was part of my summer recyclable crafts programs for teens.

Over all I hope the teens enjoyed themselves at the Main Library.
A group picture after they made a mess of themselves from painting signs for our garden.
If you are a parent or a teen and looking for volunteer opportunities, just go to this website for HandsOn:

Main Teen Volunteers and the Mayor's Youth Academy Interns

I also would like to mention our other teen volunteers and the interns from the Mayors Youth Academy. They were a great group of teens who helped with shelving, programs, and even help conducting programs.
What a silly group of kids!
Some of the teen volunteers and Mayor Youth Academy members.

Helping out with a craft project

There are still opportunities for teens to volunteer in the library, too. Check with your local branch to see what opportunities that are out there. Also, the Main Library is starting a Teen Advisory Group (TAG) and teens can use the hours for volunteer credits.


HandsOn Greater Richmond said...

Hi Natasha,
What a wonderful post! Thanks for highlighting our Teen program.

Our website is actually It looks like you linked to HandsOn Broward, which is another affiliate in a different state.

Natasha the Artsy Librarian said...

Thanks! I will fix the link. I am glad you like the post.