The West Feliciana Parish Library system has won a competitive grant from the American Library Association to host a reading and discussion program designed for at-risk teens.
As one of the 75 Great Stories Club grant recipients selected nationwide, the West Feliciana Library will work with groups of six to 10 teens to read and discuss three books in which young adult narrators use the creative arts to move past challenges, according to a news release.
“Teenagers are inundated by choices, and it is often difficult for them to see the long-term implications of their everyday actions,” library director Glenna Fallin said. “We’re excited to introduce our teens to these three true stories of young people using the arts to respond productively to hardship.”
The book titles, under the theme “The Art of Change: Creation, Growth and Transformation,” include: “Buck: A Memoir” by M.K. Asante; “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie; and “The Complete Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi. The titles — selected by librarian advisers and humanities scholars — were chosen to resonate with reluctant readers who struggle with complex issues such as incarceration, violence and poverty.
Fallin said the library will receive 11 copies each of the three books, which will be gifted to book club participants, as well as paid travel and accommodations for library project directors to attend an orientation workshop at the 2016 ALA annual conference in Orlando, Florida, in June. The library also will receive project materials, training and support.
Working with Fallin will be the faculty and staff of the West Feliciana Parish Family Service Center under new Supervisor and Executive Director Lee Coleman. Teen participants still in high school will be selected from the parents who are involved with the center, and gatherings of the Great Stories Club will begin in late September.
Since its inception in 2006, ALA’s Great Stories Club has reached 670 libraries in 49 states and more than 30,000 young adults ages 12 to 21. The grant is administered by ALA’s Public Programs Office in partnership with the Association for Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies, including interest groups: Library Services for Youth in Custody and Library Services to the Incarcerated and Detained. The Great Stories Club is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
For information, call Fallin at (225) 635-3364.