Teen Leader Initiative

The Travelers Foundation awarded HPL with a $50,000 grant that will provide continued funding to the Teen Leader Initiative. We began this Initiative to provide teens a basic understanding of what is needed to achieve success in both their academic and working careers. The Initiative has been in existence for nineteen years, funded primarily by Travelers in the past five years. With a strong emphasis on critical thinking, problem-solving, learning, communication and collaboration, technology and information literacy, life and career, and personal and social responsibility, teens become firmly grounded in 21st century skills.

“Travelers is committed to providing the tools and opportunities young people need to succeed,” said Tara N. Spain, Vice President of the Travelers Foundation. “The Teen Leader Initiative is a great model for building future leaders out of today’s youth.”

This year’s Teen Leader Initiative will have an emphasis on information literacy and technology, preparing ten Hartford teens for education and careers in a digital world.  Activities will align with common core curriculum and quickly evolving digital trends, increasing their ability to navigate a world where mastery of technology skills is essential.

Teens will create information guides for online resources to share with Homework Club students during peer-to-peer tutoring.  As part of their final project, teens will interview local businesses, identify and address a real-life information need, learn the value of accurate information and contribute to economic stability.  “As the teens learn, so will their communities, and both will be enriched” said Matthew K. Poland, chief executive officer at Hartford Public Library.

The Teen Leader Initiative can significantly change the lives of a small group of teens while impacting countless Hartford youth under their tutelage.  It supports the goals of Hartford Public Schools, increasing achievement and building college readiness.  The teens are transformed by strong mentorship, skill acquisition, and goal-setting opportunities, yielding an increase in college-bound graduates and a prepared future workforce.

We are thrilled to announce that we have been awarded a $7,500 grant from Bank of America in support of our Teen Leaders Initiative.  We began this initiative to provide Hartford teens a basic understanding of what is needed to achieve success in both their academic and working careers. With a strong emphasis on career education, job readiness skills, workplace expectations, project management, and personal finance, teens are firmly grounded 21st century skills. This grant will provide for the hiring of five teens that will work with library staff for nine weeks at five branches during the summer months.

Teen Leaders will attend a series of educational workshops that will improve their ability to make positive personal, academic and career decisions. They will participate in the Federal Lunch Program, provide daily library service, and help impact the lives of over 20,000 youth every year.

Teens will also assist with the 2013 Summer Reading Program by guiding and mentoring young readers and by coordinating youth programs and workshops.  In this capacity, they will serve as role models and peer tutors.  Furthermore, they learn educational and leadership skills that inspire the youth they serve.  The Summer Reading Program supports and motivates Hartford youth to achieve summer reading gains that decrease summer learning loss and improve grade-level reading proficiency.

“While the Teen Leader Initiative transforms the lives of a small group of teens, these young people impact the lives of many Hartford youth” said Matthew K. Poland, chief executive officer at Hartford Public Library.


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