Programming, Advocacy, and Media Literacy

There are all kinds of ways that programming and advocacy are intertwined, not the least of which is that programming makes patron populations visible, and visibility often means more resources allocated. Even more importantly, though, the programming itself is often a type of advocacy, when done right.

The gold standard for for teen programs are ones that are run by teens themselves, programs that give them a chance to not only make decisions, but also plan and organize, which meets several of the needs discussed at the beginning of the semester. Programs for younger elementary students should engage the imagination and give children a chance to model and practice skills, but are generally highly structured. So where does that leave tweens?

Although it gave programming examples, discussed the needs of tweens, and stated that the former should inform the latter, it felt like the chapter in Serving Young Teens and Tweens didn’t really give useful advice for doing that. When I’m at our “teen” craft (full of mostly tweens) I can see how certain crafts give enough instruction for tweens to master the craft themselves, while still allowing for a plenty of creativity, exploration, and personalization. Just as I can see how running their own club is exactly what the older teens need – and enjoy.

But how do I translate the loose structure of our “teen” crafts to other types of programs for tweens?

Sadly, despite hours of searching, the internet is not helping with this one.


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