My teens are super cool and wanted nothing to do with the traditional "Teen Advisory Board" name and went for the funkier Teen Action Group. It makes me feel like we shouldn't be meeting in the Bicentennial Room of the library, but instead an underground command post with a drop down plasma screen TV the mayor uses for his urgent communications. ... Or not. But still!
Anyway, the only program that regularly gets attendance is TAG. For the life of me, I don't know why. During the summer I got people, but now that it's the school year I only occasionally get people to roll up to Teen Cafe. This absence is despite the fact that the teens show interest in programs like the creative writing group when talking about them in TAG. I spent 4 potential writing programs doing other work.
Well I'm sick of that. I've decided to take action myself. If the teens are only interested in TAG, well they'll only get TAG (actually not true, but whatever). Instead of having a monthly writing program, I am going to have writing exercises at the original Monday night TAG meetings. Instead of a craft program, there will be a craft activity at the new Tuesday night TAG: The Echo meetings. BAM. I'll keep you posted on the progress.
I already tried out the writing exercise this month and it went swimmingly! We ran the meeting for about 45 minutes with little to no tangents and then started an exercise I like to call Judging a Book by its Cover. The teens each got a book they most likely had not read before taken from either the juvenile, YA or adult fiction sections with nondescript or weird covers. Without turning to the back or inside jacket flap they had to create a 4 sentence synopsis. After they were all done we took turns reading first our synopsis and then the official blurb. One girl was mostly spot on and she had the weirdest cover! It was a great time and I look forward to pulling this back out in a few months. :)