Bound by boredom? Libraries offer summer programs for teens

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Above, Spencer Serels, a volunteer at the Westport Public Library’ s Maker Space, enters computer coding to begin running one of the library’ s 3-D printers earlier this year. This summer, libraries across the area, including Westport’s are providing programs for teens, including an upcoming workshop on 3-D computer art and printing. Below right, the 3_D printer “prints” an apple. File photos

In an effort to prevent teens from uttering the dreaded “I’m bored” declaration this summer, area libraries have delivered with a number of activities for young people. And the rewards for participation are great. It is a chance to escape the heat, learn something new and perhaps make a few new friends.

Today, I look at the offerings in Westport, Darien and Norwalk. In the days to come, look for more programs happening across Fairfield and New Haven counties.

Westport Library – The Teen Anime Club will meet from 6:30 to 8;30 p.m. Thursday, July 11. Organizers note that the event is participant-driven, so make sure to come with ideas. On Satuday, JA 3-D printer in the Westport Public Library's Maker Space "prints" an apple.uly 13, from 2 to 4 p.m., the library’s Teen Maker Space will present a SketchUp Workshop to teach young people how to create 3-D art on the computer. And, later in the month, on July 24 from 7:30 to 9 p.m., the library will invite young people to gather and play the popular computer game Minecraft. For the latter two events, participants must bring their own laptop.

The programs are free and open to those in grades 6 to 12. Register online here.

Thirsty? Teens who join the Teen Summer Reading Program get a free beverage at the Westport Library’s cafe for signing up, for every five books they read and book review they submit.

Darien Library – Discovery and creativity also await at this popular spot. The Brushbot Workshop comes up quick, taking place at 3 p.m. tomorrow. Participants craft a robot from the head of a toothbrush and then watch as they race. Get beyond a typical book report by recording a book trailer where you talk about your favorite book. That event kids off at 2 p.m. July 11. The best talk wins a prize.

Darien Library also is building a Minecraft community. For more information, visit the library’s website.

And, the activities continue. Here’s a list:

  • Tuesday, July 16, 2 p.m. – Build a wooden rocket glider and race. To register, email Teen Librarian Erica Gauquier at egauquier@darienlibrary.org.
  • Friday, July 19, 1 p.m. – Build six different solar electric toys and other items. Register by emailing egauquier@darienlibrary.org.
  • Monday, July 22, 2 p.m. – Create your own designer sneakers by customizing your own pair with markers and paint. Register at egauquier@darienlibrary.org.
  • Wednesday, July 24, 4 p.m. – Get a sneak peek at the new books before everyone else does, while enjoying some pizza and soda at the Teen Galley Party.
  • Aug. 12 to 16 – Those 10 to 14 may participate in the MAKE Camp. Create robotic mice, tattoo bananas, and enjoy plenty more.
  • Friday, Aug. 16, 3 p.m. – The Teen Summer Reading program will cap off the participant’s literary efforts with a party that will feature a raffle, pizza, gaming and other activities.

 

Norwalk Library – This week begins with some Minecraft from 4 to 6 p.m. tonight in the teen room (It continues on subsequent Mondays.). The program is open to those in grades 6 and older. Bring your own laptop or you can use one of the library’s computers. For more information, call 203-899-2780, Ext. 15136. There also is chess today for teens from 7 to 8 p.m.

It will be an active summer for young people, with programs and activities abounding at Norwalk’s library. Volunteens – a community service program for young people – will be out and about on Saturday. Registration is necessary, so call 203-899-2780, Ext. 15136, if you are interested.

There will be plenty of opportunities for gaming, too, with events scheduled for Wednesday, July 17, including a Smash Brothers Brawl Tournament. For more information on the full schedule, check out the library’s teens’ page. Like other libraries, there also is a teen and children’s reading program ongoing through August. You can register here.

Tomorrow: Greenwich, Stamford and New Canaan

Christina Hennessy

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