Sleep late. Read often. Enjoy your summer.

As the school year rapidly comes to an end, teens are eagerly anticipating a lazy summer spent hanging out with friends and catching up on books and television shows.  But…by 3:00 p.m. on Sunday…every teen will utter the two phrases most feared by those over the age of 30 – “I am bored. There is nothing to do.”  It does not matter that school ended only a couple days prior and the idea of blissfully sleeping late every day has already lost some of its luster. Teens have gone from overscheduled to unscheduled in a heartbeat. How to remedy this? Point your favorite teen towards the Mercer County Library (MCL).

Much has been made recently of “summer slide” – the loss, or backslide, of academic skills that may occur during an unstructured period of time such as summer break. School districts have generally assigned summer reading and some have gone beyond the Language Arts curricula and have assigned Math, Science and Social Studies summer work. In any of our branches, teens will find not only the materials for their summer assignments but books and events to satisfy their personal interests.

This year’s Teen Summer Reading Program – Beneath the Surface – is once again online.  Registration officially begins Monday, June 24th, and runs through midnight Friday, August 23rd. Teens can log and review books they’ve read or listened to. Check with your home branch for any contests or prizes tied to the Summer Reading Program. Speaking of “listening to” a book, Sync is a free service provided by OverDrive (the same service that powers eLibraryNJ) and publishers to bring classic and contemporary titles in audio format to young adults. Starting May 30 and running until August 21, two new titles will be available each week for download on the Sync service. The audio downloads are free and do not expire.

Teen events at all branches are both social and educational. MCL is the place for teens to be on Mondays. Teens will be making terrariums, chocolate fondue & tie dye t-shirts at Twin Rivers; talking books during Girls Night Out and Guys Read Book Clubs at Hopewell; and making everything from tie-dye to aqua terrariums to mini disco balls to pet rocks at West Windsor. Looking for something “girlie” to do? MCL has the answer with Mehndi programs at Ewing, Hickory Corner and Robbinsville; and jewelry making at Ewing, Hightstown, Hickory Corner and West Windsor. Just dying to talk about books? Hightstown’s Mother & Daughter Book Club will meet Wednesday July 24th; in addition to their Monday evening book clubs mentioned above, Hopewell’s Anime/Manga Club will meet every Wednesday; and for four Friday afternoons at West Windsor, everything books and pop culture will be up for discussion at Buzz Pop. Want something to exercise those brain cells? There will be PSAT, ACT and SAT practice tests at Hickory Corner and West Windsor; robotics demos at Ewing, Hightstown and West Windsor; song writing workshops at Hickory Corner and West Windsor; and, a two-part film-making workshop at West Windsor.  There is more planned – really, MORE! Just visit MCL’s Teen Program page.

Need to rack up some volunteer hours? Hightstown is looking for teen volunteers for this summer’s “Book Buddies” program. Book Buddies pairs teens with children in grades 1-3 to practice reading. It will be offered at 4:00 p.m. on Thursdays beginning July 11th. West Windsor will be taking applications for school year volunteers in mid-August and will hold three reshelving “parties” during the last two weeks of August. For volunteer opportunities, check with your home branch; usually, summer volunteers are scheduled before school ends but it never hurts to ask!

There is a lot for teens to read and do at the Mercer County Library. So…
Sleep late. Read often. Enjoy your summer.

-Carolyn A.
West Windsor Branch


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