Teen summer reading program relies on unexpected
Who knows what books lurk in the hands of teens?
The Eudora Public Library knows.
A group of six youngsters listened to a 1941 radio episode of "The Shadow" Thursday as part of the library's summer reading program.
The program encourages youngsters 12-years-old and older to read either eight books or 800 pages during the course of the summer
The theme this summer is "YNK." It stands for "You Never Know" as in you never know what your public library will offer, program co-coordinator Linda Weeks said.
The teen reading program has been running for three years.
"It's grown a little. We just like getting the kids to read during the summer," Weeks said.
The meetings start at noon every other Thursday at the library, 114 East Ninth St.
Participants bring a lunch and often meet outside.
During lunch, the participants listen to a presentation and have the opportunity to discuss what they've read.
Eleven-year-old Britani Shrum's favorite part of the group is asking for recommendations for books she might like to read, she said.
After lunch, the participants work on a craft activity.
To keep with the theme, Weeks and co-coordinator Crystal Hinman try to make the bi-weekly meetings as diverse as possible.
After moving Thursday's meeting inside because of rain, the coordinators figured the radio drama would be a novel experience for the youngsters. It featured a crime fighter, voiced by actor Orson Welles, who becomes invisible to his enemies.
Minutes after starting the cassette the group heard a dramatic swell of an organ.
"I love this music," 13-year-old Whitney Weld said.
After the Shadow solved the case involving a set of zombie mobsters, the group clapped.
"Interesting," 13-year-old Brenna Bench said.
So far, the randomness is just the way attendees like it.
"I think it's cool we get to get together and do stuff like listen to the radio broadcast," Weld said.
After finishing their food and the radio show, the group began work on two craft projects.
Thursday's project included a three-dimensional treasure chest made of construction paper and an origami T-shirt folded from a $1 bill.
Thirteen-year-old Tara Miller said her favorite part of the group was the craft projects.
At the last meeting, the group heard children's author L.D. Harkrader author of "Airball: My Life in Briefs." The book was nominated for a William Allen White Award.
"She was great to listen to," Hinman said.
For her presentation, she brought in the rough pages of her book and explained to the group the process it went through before publication.
The program will continue until August. The library also offers reading groups for younger children and adults.
For more information or to join the group, call the library at 542-2496.
"It's just nice to fill my time with something to do this summer," 17-year-old Lindsey Cook said.