The week of July 17-21 at the Maplewood Library has been filled with nothing less than diversity, learning, and need I mention, countless moments of good natured friendship and enjoyment. This week in particular shed light not only on the open mindedness and love the SOMA community has shown citizens of every background, but on the wide range of valuable experiences that can be found right here at the Maplewood Library. Learning doesn’t always just comes from novels, and our first Village to Village program at the Maplewood Library was truly indicative of this. Syrian teens from Elizabeth and young members from our own SOMA community joined together in an afternoon of artistry and bonding as local artist Samar Husseini showed them the ropes, or should I say, the brushes, on how to create realistic and abstract portraits inspired by the legendary artist Pablo Picasso. Picasso specialized in a wide range of varying art styles, but his art as a whole truly shows diversity in every form is beautiful and differences make for a brilliant end result – so there was no better inspiration to facilitate laughter, creativity, and companionship between teens of varying backgrounds and demographics. Our first Village to Village experience was a huge success, so we would like to not only thank Samar Husseini for giving us a little spark of creative magic, but our friends from Elizabeth and SOMA alike for joining us in an afternoon of paint smeared fingers and lively imaginations.
We note with great pride that the artistic inspiration hardly stopped there for our SOMA community members this week. Twelve teens flocked to our Create Camp Program to make their own origami cranes. They were soon to discover the illusion of the flexinol wire that expands and contracts based on exposure to heat, making the wings of the crane “flap”, and of course, our resourceful builders very happy with the result of their creations. As our magnificent homemade birds were just beginning to take flight, three teens in the Create Camp Program were also making a modern art steady hand game. Using a buzzer, batteries, and other exciting materials, these inventive young adults cooked up their own form of the game Operation. We have one more Create Camp program coming up next Wednesday, but do not despair- you still have time to sign up and join in on the good times! Use your mind, imagination, and just a bit of elbow grease at the Maplewood Library with other creative teens.
Last but certainly not least… you seriously didn’t expect us to forget our favorite part of all of this summer fun, right? Books! We have not forgotten, and neither, it seems, have SOMA teens. One hundred and fifty books have been read so far in the teen summer reading program! Stellar job, summer readers, but don’t stop there! We literally have hundreds of more titles you can dive into. Swing by the library and pick up your new favorite book- it’s waiting for you, fellow readers. Don’t stop reading, creating, or laughing this summer, and don’t stop doing so here at the Maplewood Library. We don’t mean to be clingy or anything, but we kind of sort of really like your company. Hope to see you soon!
– Ava Pauline Emilione