Albany Park Teens Improve Their Natural, Social-Emotional and Built Environments

Maggie, teen librarian, at Albany Park Branch was excited to collaborate with Stef Funk, the Outreach Coordinator at Plant Chicago, to organize workshops for local teens. Themes included aquaponics, native pollinators, vermicomposting and water chemistry, plus a Plant facility tour to see food production, energy conservation and material reuse firsthand. Maggie explained she particularly wanted to create opportunities for teens to learn more about issues affecting their local communities, as well as to provide them with hands-on ways to make a difference. Teens were thrilled to have an opportunity to do all of this, plus feed chickens, pictured in the bottom left.

Utilizing the technology in Albany Park's YOUmedia, teens have been encouraged to make and document their summer learning through photos, videos and a blog. Environmentally-themed activities Maggie and Dan have offered include developing planters, making upcycled fashion, creating moss graffiti, as well as planting and caring for herbs and vegetables (the library has its own garden). Special guest presenters they've hosted include Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC) and Adler Planetarium, organizations partnering with Chicago Public Library Teen Services this summer to present real-life challenges and hands-on workshops for teens at library locaitons citywide.  

Albany Park Branch was also the host of the WE Incubation Day event, where teens learned about the progression of rights and injustices for people living with disabilities and also identified challenges that people with disabilities face. Furthermore, they brainstormed possible solutions to these challenges and explored ways to take action to make communities more inclusive, including elements such as flexibility, convenience and understandability. You too can take part in this activity by attending one of the WE Are One! programs scheduled this summer at a library near you. #WEAreOne

Visit the CPL website calendar of events to find out when you can join some of Albany Park Branch's upcoming programs for teens!

Albany Park Branch is a recipient of a 2018 Teen Summer Challenge: Imagine Doing More! mini-grant made possible through the Chicago Public Library Foundation. #ImagineAtCPL #CPLTeens #NoSmallPlans