Menlo Park Library’s Teen Splash Bash caps off successful summer reading program

by Chrisie Wendin on July 31, 2010

An all-you-can-eat ice cream sundae bar, water ballons, and cool prizes. It was the perfect recipe for the celebration concluding the Menlo Park Library’s Teen Summer Reading Program. The Splash Bash, the catchy moniker for the gathering, was held yesterday afternoon on the spacious lawn adjacent to the library— plenty of room for sponge fighting, water-balloon tossing, and just chilling out with friends.

Some 170 middle and high school students participated in this year’s reading program, logging in about 2,000 books during the eight-week period that the program was held. Library Assistant Angela Kroner, who along with Nancy Andrus oversee the library’s teen efforts, are quick to point out that the program would not be possible without the support of the Friends of the Menlo Park Library. They think this year’s program was such a hit with teens because of its creative approach — and compelling incentives.

In addition to earning a free book for meeting personal goals, program participants could qualify for weekly prize drawings by writing book reviews. And any teen who met his or her goal was entered in to the grand prize drawings held yesterday at the Splash Bash.

The lucky readers who scored the big prizes? Congratulations to Alex Tiznado, winner  of the iPod Touch; Arohi Shah,  winner of the Flip video camera; and Ankit Bhutani, winner of the $50 gift certificate to Game Stop.

Teen Advisory Group helping shape library’s vibrant program

More than the prizes, though, Angela and Nancy credit the library’s new Teen Advisory Group (TAG) for helping making the Splash Bash and all facets of the teen program successful.

“They come up with all sorts of great ideas. They even tell us what ice cream toppings to get and what the best prizes are, ” jokes Angela.

The Splash Bash and TAG are just two examples of how the library is revitalizing its teen program. Friday night teen-only events throughout the school year have proven to be a popular draw, as has the newly renovated teen library space and its growing collection of books, DVDs, and other media that appeal to teen tastes.

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