Engage! at Arlington Heights

Librarian: Tom Spicer

Participants discussed all five themes in six meetings. Completed projects for each theme were displayed in the library for the general public. The total attendance for all of the meetings was forty-seven students.

Who the Teens Were

Most of the participants were generated from outreach that Tom did with five different area schools.

Tangible Opportunities to Engage! with Ideas or Materials

  1. The teens were taught about the technique of a value drawing. An artist, Tricia Fuglestad, guided the participants in their projects. Using a play on the word “value,” the teens were then asked to collage and use mixed media to put text in the background of their projects that reflected what they valued in their lives.

  2. Another artist, Violet Jaffe, created a unique program based on Ladder For Booker T. Washington by Martin Puryear. She included a very interesting background presentation on Puryear, including a video of him interviewed about Ladder For Booker T. Washington. The teens utilized balsa and bass wood, wood glue, and various other materials to create a model based on a symbol of something meaningful in their lives.

  3. In a creative writing program, a novelist, Charles Dickinson, spoke about his short story writing and then read an original piece he wrote based on County Election, 1892. We had five preselected images printed off on sturdy stock paper that the kids took home and then wrote short stories on. Those stories were then posted as blog entries on the teen website.

  4. Each teen was given disposable cameras after the program. Rolling Meadows High School photography teacher Amanda Thomas examined six of the photographs in the Engage! and Picturing America resources (focusing on photographs from the Signs and Symbols theme) and also gave tips on how to take effective pictures. Each participating teen had their best three photos blown up into 8" x 10" images for display in the library.

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