This past spring, Flow Circus sponsored a contest for librarians looking for innovative programming ideas for their teens. The Make Waves/Make Money Library Giveaway awarded Twist & Earn! tote bags to 6 libraries in the regions where we currently offer performances and workshops. These tote bags contain instructional materials and supplies needed to learn how to twist balloons in order raise money toward a goal determined by the teens.
One of the contest winners was East Greenbush Community Library in New York where teens decided to raise money for WaterAid America. WaterAid America works to provide clean, safe water and sanitation to communities in Africa and Asia. The teens twisted balloon animals at the children’s Summer Reading Program kick-off event and were able to raise $86 in just one afternoon. The benefits of the program go beyond just raising money. As Tween/Teen Librarian Chrissie Morrison wrote about Twist & Earn!
I think it is a great way to work on building bridges within the community and around the world. Getting the teens to work with other generations helps them to be seen in a positive light instead of always being looked upon as an annoyance and/or as trouble-makers. Getting teens involved in charity work also helps them to learn more about the world around them and to DO SOMETHING about the parts they want to change/improve!
The following article highlights the work of the East Greenbush teens.
For more information about the Twist & Earn! program, visit www.twistandearn.org