Middle schoolers matter

We know the middle school years can be a time when kids need even more adult guidance, places to go, and things to do.

That’s why, in addition to two full-time librarians who work with middle and high schoolers, we recently added two more staff members dedicated to serving tweens and teens.

And now that school’s out for the summer, we’ve got activities nearly every day of the week for this age group (see below).

Meet Beronica

Beronica Puhr, previously a library assistant, became a full-time Children’s Librarian in January, with a particular focus on middle school services.

She wasted no time engaging young people with activities including a book club, yoga, crafting, gaming, and more. While building relationships with tweens, she became a strong and visible presence during after-school hours at both the Main Library and Maze Branch.

Remembering her own middle school years, Puhr says she knows the impression adults can have on young people.

“I want to make sure I treat middle schoolers and young adults with the utmost respect,” she says. “Anything you say or do can have such an impact.”

Meet Luis

Luis Tubens also joined the library as a part-time Teen Programming Specialist this year.

Since he became the library’s first artist in residence in 2017, Tubens has drawn in lots of middle schoolers with writing workshops, open mics, and a chess club.

“I enjoy what I receive from the youth more than what I give,” Tubens said back in 2017, when he started leading poetry workshops at the library. “It inspires me and keeps me on my game.”

Summer activities for middle schoolers

While school’s out this summer, there’s something happening for tweens and teens almost every day of the week. For example…

Mondays and Wednesdays: Kids in grades 6-12 continue to meet up for the Living History Project, to cultivate social and critical thinking skills, develop research skills, learn about the histories of social movements in the U.S., and gain public speaking experience.

Students going into grades 5-9 can create something new each week on Thursdays, 4-5 pm, at the Main Library.

Tuesdays: Kids ages 5-13 join instructor Luis Tubens (see above) for Chess Champs Club, a two-hour chess workshop and open play chess club.

Wednesdays: Middle and high school students can join the Tabletop Game Creation Club to collaborate to plan, design, and create a new tabletop game. Registration required.

Thursdays: Create something new each week in Try It Thursdays. Past creations have included tote bags, slime, shrinky-dinks, mud cakes, and 3D-printed designs.

Fridays, June 21, July 12, and August 16: Stop by the Veterans Room to play some video games in Summer Game On! 

Special events include an Escape Room challenge (register for either Wednesday, August 21 or Friday, August 23) and Summer Sewing Bootcamp (register for Saturdays, June 29 and July 27).

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