Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

To My Second Family, a letter from a teen volunteer

I spoke earlier about my library’s teen volunteer program (read about it here).  It’s one thing for me to tell you how awesome it is (and it is), but what if I let a teen volunteer tell you how awesome it is.  You see, earlier this week our teen volunteer came in and dropped off a letter.  This is only way in which libraries make a difference in the lives of teens.

 
 
Dear Second Family,
 
I would like to start off by saying this: I prefer to write a letter to each and everyone one of you, but since I literally have no time, I think this is a good alternative.  Now that I got that off my chest . . . you guys really are like my second family.  You guys are my fun family.  I come to you guy to be entertained.  I come to you guys because you all make me feel wanted. You make me feel like I’m doing something noticeable that isn’t bad.  And I just wanna say thank you.  Thank you for being great people.  Thank you for allowing me to be your volunteer. I actually learned something from each one of you that will stay with me for the rest of my life.  I hope I’m not the only life you guys have touched. You guys are wonderful.
 
 
Then it is signed by this amazing teen volunteer, but I am withholding his name for privacy issues.  I can tell you that he has been a teen volunteer for several summers in a row now and that this summer he logged in over 90 hours working with younger children and library staff to promote reading and more.  We could not do it without volunteers like him . . .
 
My favorite part of the letter, however, is this:

 
 
 
Here are some of the 40 Developmental Assets that Teen Volunteer Programs help meet:
Other Adult Relationships | Young person receives support from three or more nonparent adults.
Community Values Youth | Young person perceives that adults in the community value youth.
Youth as Resources | Young people are given useful roles in the community.
Service to Others | Young person serves in the community one hour or more per week.
Adult Role Models | Parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behavior.
High Expectations | Both parent(s) and teachers encourage the young person to do well.
Youth Programs | Young person spends three or more hours per week in sports, clubs, or organizations at school and/or in community organizations
Caring | Young Person places high value on helping other people.
Sense of Purpose | Young person reports that “my life has a purpose.”

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