The Allen County Public Library’s annual Team Read program saw great success this summer across the community. Team Read was a summer employment opportunity for teens ages 16 to 19. Team Readers visited local parks, community centers, and library branches to connect elementary students to the joy of reading. They led activities, acted as mentors, and of course, read with the children.
For many Team Readers, this was their first job, and it allowed them to see the impact they can make in their community while also building career skills, boosting a résumé, and meeting new people. This year, 34 teens were hired through the generous support of the Foellinger Foundation as part of the SPARK Summer Learning Program.
“Team Read is one of the most impactful programs we conduct at the ACPL,” said Assistant Youth Services Manager Aisha Hallman. “It allows us to build upon a love of the library and reading with local teens and to extend that love to the next generation. We all know kids idolize teenagers and this is the perfect opportunity to connect them with teens as mentors and role models. And best of all, it promotes confidence, leadership, and community awareness in the teens. It’s a win-win for everyone!”
Team Readers were on site at Euell Wilson Center, Boys and Girls Club, and Wellspring as well as other community locations such as: Children’s Village, YMCA summer sites, the Jennings Center, Concordia Lutheran Elementary School, and Weisser Park Community Center. The program also operated throughout the summer at the following library locations: Little Turtle, Main Library, Tecumseh, Shawnee, Pontiac, and Hessen Cassel.
The Allen County Public Library (ACPL) has fostered lifelong learning and discovery in northeast Indiana for more than 125 years. The ACPL consists of fourteen branches throughout Allen County, serving more than one million visitors per year. The ACPL’s collection includes more than 2.7 million items, with a circulation total of 3.6 million items borrowed annually. It also houses The Genealogy Center, the nation’s largest public genealogy research center, and The Rolland Center for Lincoln Research, consisting of more than 20,000 artifacts related to President Abraham Lincoln.