Literacy Works!, WorkReady Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Youth Network Create Teen Literacy Coaches in Neighborhood Libraries

By Jovan E. Thu, July 25, 2019

The Literacy Works! 2019 program is underway! Provided by the Free Library of Philadelphia and funded by WorkReady Philadelphia, Literacy Works! is a 6-week summer program employing nearly 100 teens, known as Teen Literacy Coaches, at 45 of the city’s 54 neighborhood libraries. These teens work alongside librarians to facilitate literacy and STEAM activities for children and teen visitors, to serve as mentors for youth, and to support the Free Library’s Summer of Wonder.

Once a  week, the Free Library’s teen employees meet at the Parkway Central Library to explore a wealth of new skills and resources, including connecting with a career panel, discovering Parkway Central’s Special Collections, and participating in workshops on résumé-building and networking, financial literacy and budgeting, and nutrition and wellness. The program culminates in a series of TED-like pitches, where the Teen Literacy Coaches will present on topics surrounding social issues, community resources, and dream jobs. 

WorkReady Philadelphia, managed by the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN), is a citywide effort to address the skills gap by convening partners, employers, leaders of youth-serving systems, and youth to build a coordinated approach to preparing young people for future employment. PYN’s goal is to create 20,000 education and work experience opportunities for youth across the city by 2020. Literacy Works! runs from July 1 through August 9 and supports the Literacy Enrichment Afterschool Program (LEAP).

Teens work alongside librarians to facilitate literacy and STEAM activities for children and teen visitors.
Teens work alongside librarians to facilitate literacy and STEAM activities for children and teen visitors.
Philadelphia Youth Network
Philadelphia Youth Network

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