According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 13 percent of Tennesseans lack basic literacy skills, but a group of teens from Obion County is hoping to address that problem by encouraging more of their peers to spend time at the library.
The Obion County Public Library Teen Advisory Group was recently named the Tennessee winner of the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) “You Are Here” Teen Video Challenge. Contestants were asked to submit videos that help promote reading and summer reading programs at libraries. Teen groups representing libraries in 20 states participated in the first year of competition.
The Tennessee State Library and Archives, which is part of the Secretary of State’s office, helped promote the contest in Tennessee.
Secretary of State Tre Hargett will present certificates and a prize check to the students at the Obion County Library in Union City today at 1:30 p.m. Central time.
While the CSLP offered monetary awards of $250 to the winning teens and $100 to the libraries they represented in each state, the teens at Obion County Public Library chose to spend all $350 at their library.
“They are thrilled to win and they plan to use some of their winnings to update the look of the teen department with pillows, rugs, lamps and bean bag chairs,” said Jenny Virgin, children’s department coordinator at the Obion County Public Library. “They will use the rest of the money to start their own Teen Advisory Group account, which they plan to add to through fundraisers and use for young adult books and other library needs. I could not be more proud of them.”
Secretary Hargett expressed similar sentiments.
“The best way to improve literacy is to read regularly and there is no better place to do that than at your local library,” Secretary Hargett added. “Obion County Public Library and other libraries throughout the state offer free resources to keep Tennesseans of all ages well-supplied with summer reading material.”
Winning videos are available for public libraries across the nation to use in promoting their summer programs. The videos can be seen here.