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Food, fun and fam equals Teen Advisory Board

(Front row, from the left) Maiya Giersdorf and Ilise Giersdorf; (second row) Jessica LaPean, Abby LaPean and Georgia Jones; (third row) Sean Pazdera, Jacob Siegel and Sam LaPean; and (back row) Kalley Ladwig, Abby Modesette, Brooke Meger and Marissa Lienhard. (Photo by Tom Lindfors)

“We’re all fam here.” - Marissa Lienhard

“If you want to read books, come here. If you want to eat delicious food, come here, too, but stop at McDonald’s.” - Sean Pazdera

“ Teen Advisory Board is really cool and you meet some really awesome people.” - Abby Modesette

“It’s one of a kind.” - Brooke Meger

“Check your head.” - Ilise Giersdorf

Those are the eclectic musings of several members of the Teen Advisory Board (TAB).

Under the direction of Youth Services Librarian Georgia Jones, students in grades 6-12 meet the fourth Tuesday of every month at the Friday Memorial Library in New Richmond. Students spend an hour after school engaged in activities they help plan ranging from creating crazy culinary concoctions like sushi made from candy, to watching popular movie flicks, to making blankets for a local shelter.  

“In November we’ll be having cupcake wars. In January we are going to make toys for the animal shelter and in February we’re going to make blankets to give to a shelter. The idea is to provide a safe environment for kids to be able to come and unwind after school,” said Jones.

“Kids get enough of the competitive stuff everywhere else, so we try to focus on keeping it loose. I like to give the kids creative license to see what they can do. It’s also an opportunity for kids to interact with people they don’t necessarily interact with at school,” said Jones.

Student members of the board participate in community service projects while also contributing to the library by helping out with children’s programs like last summer’s family campfire program.

TAB members read to young campers around the campfire while others had a hand in the mysterious snow that fell on the campers.

Jones expects that the students will have an important opportunity to contribute their ideas when it comes time to begin planning for the new library.

“Right now it’s difficult now to do much programing with middle and high school kids because we don’t have the room at the library. I remember the last time we went through the process of planning a new library, the architects came in and interviewed each staff member and they interviewed the Teen Advisory Board individually and listened to their suggestions. We’ll be anxious to have input from whomever is a part of TAB when that time comes again,” said Jones.