Teen Reading Lounges inspire reading and creativity at local libraries

Partners Post, November 2015

Teen Reading Lounge
2015 Teen Reading Lounge at the Philadelphia Free Library

An innovative after-school program helps students across Pennsylvania build community, explore creativity, and cultivate a love of reading at their local libraries.

Teen Reading Lounge, an initiative of the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, brings students ages 12-18 to participating libraries for eight-session programs including book discussions, hands-on workshops, field trips, and special projects designed by the teens in collaboration with qualified facilitators.

"Teen Reading Lounge is not your mother's book club," said Pennsylvania Humanities Council Executive Director Laurie Zierer in a recent op-ed about the program. "Teens help choose the reading list, which tends to focus on popular young-adult literature such as 'The Hunger Games' and 'The Runaways' series, the 'Divergent' trilogy and 'The Arrival,' books that often deal with people or issues outside the 'normal,' the way many teenagers often feel about themselves."

Through reading, discussing, and exploring young adult literature together, teens strengthen interpersonal, communication, literacy, and critical-thinking skills, and they increase their confidence.

Created in 2010, Teen Reading Lounge has connected hundreds of teens with high-quality after-school programs at libraries across the state. Check out the Pennsylvania Humanities Council website in mid-November, when 2015-16 program locations will be announced.

Looking for more on high-quality after-school programs? Read Partners' May interview with experts discussing the value of after-school programs and how parents can find the best ones. Find Partners' book recommendations for middle and high school students.



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