Mint Hill Library offers summer programs for teens

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Many people are familiar with story time and other programs the library offers for young children, but they may not be as familiar with the library’s offerings for teenagers. With kids of all ages out of school for the coming months, summer is a great time for your teens to try out one of the library’s many offerings.

The library offers several year-long programs for teens with varied interests. Crafty and creative teens might consider trying out the Teen Art Club. Participants in the Teen Art Club create art projects that hang in the Mint Hill Library, such as the shamrocks currently hanging in the teen lounge and the flowers and other decorations hanging in the Community Room. The teen art club met for the first time this summer on June 3. The next meeting will be Saturday, July 1, at 2:00 pm. Because their creations serve to beautify the library, teens who participate in the Teen Art Club also earn community service hours.

The library’s “Teen Lounge” features a display of graphic novels and artwork created by the Teen Art Club.

Avid readers might consider trying out the Teen Book Club this summer. This month’s teen book club will meet on Saturday, June 17 to discuss Jessica Khoury’s Origin. Origin is the story of Pia, an immortal teen raised by a team of scientists in secrecy in the Amazon rainforest destined to begin a new race who will live forever.

Tech-minded teens might enjoy the Teen Tech Club, a “VolunTeen training ground” that not only teaches teens technical skills through hands-on work but also encourages them to spread knowledge to others. On June 6, the Tech Club’s focus was batteries; participants made smart phone batteries out of altoid tins. The next meeting of the Teen Tech Club will be Tuesday, July 4 at 6:00 pm.

[/media-credit] Teen Tech Club meets monthly at the Mint Hill Library.

The Teen Comic Book Club meets every third Tuesday of the month at 6:00 pm. Unlike the Teen Book Club, there isn’t required reading for the Comic Book Club. Instead, each meeting focuses on a theme drawn from what’s popular in the comic world now, like Wonder Woman or Guardians of the Galaxy. Books that relate to the month’s theme are on display, and there’s usually a fun game or activity. “Like last time we did Hawkeye,” says librarian Kaitlyn Mullis. “I had a Nerf bow and arrow, and we went outside and shot a target.” The next meeting of the Teen Comic Book Club will be Tuesday, June 20. The theme, as suggested by the teens who attended last month, will be Falcon, and the meeting will feature a paper airplane contest.

The Teen Geek Club also meets monthly. On Saturday, June 10, the theme was “Angry Birds.” Participants constructed a life-sized version of the popular game Angry Birds using balloon “pigs” and tennis ball “birds.” Teens will created – and then tried to destroy – one another’s structures. The next meeting of the Teen Geek Club will be July 8. Activities will focus on Harry Potter.

The library offers a few other programs that, while not exclusively for teens, are open to teenage participants. The Learn, Play Connect: Chess program meets Fridays at 3:00 pm and is open to all ages. The program is led by a “VolunTeen” and will be combination of strategy and free play. The Prolific Pens Writers Group, which meets twice a month, generally draws an audience of young adults but is open to any teen writers who are interested a well. Project Linus, which helps teens and adults to make blankets for children in need, is a great way for teens to earn community service hours.

On Saturday, June 17, the library will offer a one-time yoga session with Karey Tom through Charlotte Kids Yoga. Though the event has “kids” in the title, Mullis believes it’s better geared toward middle and high-school aged children. At the workshop, Tom will present a brief introduction to yoga and its health benefits, after which participants will learn and practice yoga techniques.

Mullis believes teens benefit from the Summer Break program because they tend to get bored over the summer in the absence of the routine of school. “The volunteer program is great,” she says, “because it gets them involved at the library, and it also gets them talking to their friends about what’s going on at the library.” It’s also a great way to reconnect with old friends: “People will walk in and say, ‘I know that guy from my sophomore year!’” says Mullis. Clearly, the library isn’t just for kids!

Recommended reading for teens.
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Mary Beth Foster
Mary Beth Foster works part time as an essay specialist at Charlotte Latin School and full time as a mom to her five-year-old daughter Hannah and her two-year-old son Henry. Prior to having children, she worked as a high school English teacher for nine years. Most recently, she chaired the English department at Queen's Grant High School. She and her husband have lived in Mint Hill with their children and their cats since 2011. Email: