Sometimes I find myself reflecting on my teen years and marveling how, even though they were long ago, they sometimes come back to me in remarkably fresh and vivid memories. I think it’s because the teen years are so impactful and emotionally charged. Our teen years are defined by change; we explore, grow, experience, try, and succeed and fail.
We have staff here parenting teenagers, others who will soon, and some who have grandparented teens, so teens come up frequently in conversation. These conversations bring awareness and understanding to my teen years and instill in me joy and pride at the incredible work our teen librarian, Kristi, is doing here at the library.
Kristi joined us just a year ago and has been busy ever since. She has partnered with local schools and nonprofits, offered many new programs, created our first-ever teen summer job fair, and helped create a program and curriculum for homeschool families. She brought the food pantry to Skidompha, with deliveries of dry goods and fresh vegetables twice per week thanks to Lincoln County Gleaners, Healthy Lincoln County, and many local farms.
Kristi cares deeply for her patrons and has seen a need to highlight wellness initiatives for teens and the community. You may have noticed much of her work has focused on this. Some of Kristi’s efforts include the homeschool program, created to help students fulfill Maine’s library skills requirement. There are programs specifically for first-year participants, where kids and teens get a chance to work through five lessons, and for second-year participants, where students can apply what they’ve learned and work on research-based projects.
Kristi has also asked our own Jeannette Eaton, another member of our deeply compassionate Skidompha staff, to run a four-week teen mindfulness group starting on Friday, October 21st. Kristi hopes this program will give teens some tools to help navigate the intensity of school, friends, and the struggles of the 21st century.
Many of you will know that Jeannette runs several programs here at Skidompha, including a beloved mindfulness program for adults! Jeannette’s facilitating skills are superlative. She aims to create a safe and comforting space welcoming to all. In this group, teens will get a chance to reflect on their own and in small groups, try out different approaches like journaling, creating, and learning short meditations and exercises they can do independently.
I’m grateful for the creative ways our teen programs seek to meet teens where they’re at and offer fun things to do and helpful things to try. If you, or a teen in your life, are interested in these programs, we hope you’ll join us at the library!
Skidompha Public Library