“I have developed teamwork, leadership and communication skills as a result of volunteering at the Britannia Library that have helped me become more successful in school and at work.” (Bronwyn, TAG member since 2013)
Funding programs where teens have access to popular technology will help address the “digital divide” by providing ongoing opportunities for them to use devices and apps that are integral to today’s increasingly digital environment. Using the donor-funded Inspiration Lab at the Central Library (a free digital creation space), Teen Services at VPL can deliver programs that provide an opportunity for teens to engage in creative and educational activities in an informal learning environment.
Teens regularly seek opportunities to give back to the community and hone leadership, mentorship and project management skills and make positive social connections with peers. Teen Advisory Groups (TAGS) provide opportunities for young people to volunteer for programs such as Reading Buddies, a program where teens read together with a child buddy to help the child build confidence and reading enjoyment, and TASTE, where librarians and teens visit local seniors care homes and teach computer skills. Each senior is paired with a teen mentor, helping to create a positive learning experience and build intergenerational bonds at the same time.