Thursday, December 29, 2011

Study at Central

The Backstage Acting Workshops for teens are coming back!

Teens enjoy playing an improvisation game at Central
After completing the Fall Backstage Acting Workshops with the Junior Players, our teens demanded more! 

Good news!  The workshops are back this January at Timberglen, Mountain Creek, and Pleasant Grove branch libraries. 

Teens will learn introduction to acting, basic performance skills, scene work and performance. 

Workshops will be on Saturdays in January, beginning on the 7th and running through the 28th from 1-3pm. 

To sign up call the Junior Players office at 214-526-4076.  Registration preferred, however walk-ins are welcome!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Teen Advisory Board Throws Holiday Party

The Teen Advisory Board at the Pleasant Grove Branch Library recently put their winter break from school to good use for the community.  They planned a holiday party at the library and invited local kids and their families in for an afternoon of fun.  Party-goers enjoyed all kinds of crafts, a holiday storytime, face painting, holiday movies on the big screen, Mexican hot chocolate, fresh baked cookies, and pictures with Santa Clause.  PG Assistant Manager, Will Mayer, estimates that around 400 people came in for the party that day.  Great job guys!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Enter Something!

We know that you are talented, so why not put those talents to use and enter a contest!  Lots of organizations have contests just for teens who are good at all kinds of things from the visual arts, to creative writing, to cooking, to science.  Winning could mean great prizes as well as opportunities to get great exposure for your work and put something impressive on your college application--plus, if you are doing what you love to do, it'll be fun, right?  Some contests are local and only Dallas teens can compete, but there are national contests too.  Can you win?  You never know until you try!

Local Contests:

Best Teen Chef Competition:
The Art Institute's Best Teen Chef Competition is an opportunity for high school seniors interested in pursuing a culinary career to experience the excitement and discipline of the industry creativity.  Winning entrants will participate in a Local Cook-Off Competition at each participating Art Institute judged by professional chefs and Art Institute culinary faculty. Each participating Art Institute will award the title of the school’s Best Teen Chef, who will earn a $4,000 tuition scholarship toward a culinary program at that school. Second place finishers at each school will earn a $1,000 tuition scholarship toward a culinary degree at that school.  The deadline for initial entry forms is February 3, 2012.  Click here for more information.

DWU Visual Arts Contest:
City of Dallas Water Utilities is encouraging all high school students living in the City of Dallas to enter its first Visual Arts Contest.  The theme for this year is "Conserve Together-Water Forever".  The grand prize winner will receive an iPad2 and the four honorable mention winners will each receive an iPod nano.  There will be a reception for winners and their families at City Hall.  The deadline to enter is March 2, 2012.  Click here for more information.

Express Yourself!  Youth Poetry Competition:
The Dallas Public Library hosts a poetry contest every year for Dallas kids and teens.  Sixty poets will be chosen to have their work published in a book and will be honored in a special ceremony with a medal and a copy of the book in the Spring.  There is also a contest for designing the cover of the book.  The deadline to enter is January 21, 2012.  Click here for more information. 

Texas Young Composers Project:
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Voices of Change are holding a contest this Spring for teen composers.  Teens must write a piece of music for any combination of piano, violin, clarinet, flute, or cello.  There are cash prizes for first and second places, and the winning pieces will actually be performed live at a concert at SMU.  The deadline to enter is March 1, 2012.  Click here for more information. 

Dallas Hispanic Heritage Drawing Contest:
What do you know about the Hispanic heritage? Love art? Here's your chance to show your ability! Create a scene illustrating your thoughts and feelings regarding the Hispanic heritage, the music, the food, the history.
Winning entries, runners-up and honorable mentions will be on display at Dallas Public Library, 1515 Young Street, October 2012 - November 2012.  The deadline to enter is May 31, 2012.  For more information, call 214-670-1671.

Junior Historian Writing Contest:
The Texas State Historical Association sponsors several different history essay contests.  You could research a new paper, or even submit one that you have already had to write for school.  How easy is that?  Most of the categories are Texas History specific.  The deadline to enter all of these contests is March 1, 2012.  Click here for more information.   

National Contests:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Reading for the Fun of It

We get it.  Teens have so much on their plates during the school year that any reading they manage to do usually has to be the required kind. 

Dickens, Faulkner, Shakespeare, these authors are in the essential classics category for a reason.  But don't forget about the hundreds of fabulous YA Lit novels written every year for modern teens like you. 

I'll be honest and say that I wasn't really even aware of YA Lit when I was in high school.  I spent so much time trying to keep up with the books assigned to me by my teachers, that reading wasn't all that fun anymore and I certainly wasn't looking for anything else to read.

Now looking back, I feel like I missed out--BIG time.  So many YA Lit books out right now fall easily into the categories of can't bear to stop reading, all I can think about all day is going home to finish it books; and the I feel a little different about myself and the world around me after reading it books.  Lots of them are both.  Even though I didn't find YA Lit until shortly after I crossed into "real adulthood", I still credit it for making me love to read again!

The good news is that winter break is coming, which will give many of you more time to actually read for the fun of it.  Take advantage of it!  Check out our holiday library hours here

Not sure what you want to read?  Check out these resources for book reviews written by and for teens:
Or, just ask someone (like a librarian).  If you must know, I am currently in a major dystopian phase.   I am in the middle of reading two different trilogies, and they are consuming my life!  (In a totally enjoyable way)

What I am reading now:
Book # 2 of the Matched trilogy by Allie Condie
Book #2 of the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins