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Children and Teens

Children and Teens

Strategic Direction: Children and Teens

Services for children and youth are paramount at Queens Library. The Library offers after-school activities, homework help programs, and toddler learning centers. Intensified outreach to young adults, including groundbreaking initiatives for teens-at-risk in partnership with local law enforcement, was emphasized in Fiscal Year ’01.

  • Enrollment in the “discover 2000 read” Summer Reading Club showed a 22% increase from the year before, with more than 17,300 children honing their literacy skills, as well as just plain having a good time at the library.
  • Some 432,900 children and young adults attended story times, magic shows, video-teleconferences, hands-on science demos, poetry “slams” and other programs at Queens Library. That’s a lot of smiles.
  • 35,000 children and parents attended the wildly popular summer exhibit Living on the Edge in the Queens Library Gallery, which featured a variety of interactive stations and weekly programming, such as storytelling and craft workshops.
  • The Connecting Libraries and Schools Program (CLASP) served 156,300 students in all seven Queens school districts, a 15% increase over the previous fiscal year. Through CLASP, teachers and parents were encouraged to make greater use of the library’s resources. It is a potent tool in the campaign for literacy.
  • Through a partnership with the Board of Education, third-through-fifth grade students were sent mailings to their homes offering a library card and promising convenient delivery right to their schools. More than 2,000 new library cards were processed and issued in ten days.
  • Latchkey and Homework Assistance Programs in 34 branches and Central Library gave 156,800 children a safe, academically-oriented haven after school. Major funding was provided by corporate and foundation donors, such as the J.M. Kaplan Fund; Astoria Federal Savings and the Educational Foundation of America. A special grant to the Flushing Library Latchkey Program provided “Science Plus” programming.
  • Hours were extended in Central Library’s Children’s Room until 9:00 p.m. on Mondays. (Another excuse for late homework vanquished!)
  • More than 100 video-teleconferenced programs brought Queens kids to the world beyond, interactively. They got up close and personal with butterflies and elephants at the Indianapolis Zoo and let their imaginations reach for the stars at NASA, giving a whole new meaning to “armchair traveling” at the library.
  • The KidsWorld Queenssm calendar listed hundreds of free and low-cost programs and activities sponsored by Queens’ educational and cultural organizations during the summer of 2000. Some 240,000 were distributed throughout the Borough. Two free KidsWorld Queens Fairs at library locations gave kids a glimpse of fun-to-come.
  • Pro-active collaborations with law enforcement and the community addressed the needs of teens at risk. Through a grant from the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Laurelton Branch will focus on the needs of children and teens living in the area. The Teen Enrichment Initiative, in partnership with the Queens District Attorney’s Office’s Second Chance Program, uses library resources to give teens useful life skills, such as job interview tips, basic computer instruction, self esteem, core values and more. Teens from Explorer’s Clubs associated with several Queens police precincts have received 10 weeks of free computer workshops at Central Library, plus previous fines on their library cards are forgiven to encourage them to use the library facilities.
  • Teen attendance at library programs rose by 35% from the previous year, an increase attributed to ongoing innovative programming, such as open mic nights and chess clubs.