Every spring, just before summer begins teens from all over Kent County will visit their local Kent District library branch and sign up to volunteer. They will fill out applications to join our Teen Crew. Some of these teens need volunteer hours in order to graduate, others have been told by their parents they need volunteer hours simply because they should, others need something to do, but most of them will volunteer because they enjoy volunteering at their library.
As a library system we love our teen volunteers. Not only do they provide a wonderful service throughout our branches by assisting with our programs, collection maintenance, and even sometimes dipping their toes in the custodial arts, each one of these teens brings something that is special and unique to them.
Last year we had a teen crew member that was fluent in Mandarin and for several weeks led a Mandarin story time. She did an AMAZING job! For a teen to be able to have this skill set and then apply it speaking publicly in another language to a group of young kids and parents was quite inspiring!
We also had a group of teens come together and plan an entire escape room program over the course of summer. They worked together creating the concept from scratch and over the course of several weeks were able to design, decorate and execute an amazing escape room event for other teens to enjoy.
Teens entering grades 6-12 can volunteer at the library and what’s a treat is when a sophomore or junior high volunteer comes alongside a 6th grade volunteer and shows them how to perform certain task. What’s equally neat is when a 6th grader comes along a sophomore or junior and teaches them how to be silly and then they bond over a game of Fortnite or argue over how Hufflepuff is the better house at Hogwarts..
These teens are giving up their time to serve their communities and it’s an incredible thing! So the next time you see a teen wearing a powder blue shirt that says VOLUNTEER on the back, feel free to tell them “thank you for volunteering” or ask them “where the bathroom is?”, or if they “know when the program starts?” but mostly say the first thing.