Archive for Teens

Guest Post – Keeping Your Teens Safe and Sober When School’s Out – By Frank Lawson

Keeping Your Teens Safe and Sober When School’s Out

By Frank Lawson,


Summer is the time for fun and relaxation for your teens, but it can also be the time for engaging in risky behavior. Thanks to the ample free time and minimal supervision that teens enjoy over the summer months, many adolescents find themselves in troubling situations they don’t encounter during the school year.

Every day during summer vacation, 11,000 teens drink alcohol for the first time, 5,000 have their first taste of nicotine, and 4,500 try marijuana. This is a huge jump from school year rates, so make sure you talk about the dangers of drugs and alcohol before the last school bell rings. You might feel like your words of caution will have little impact, but statistics show that teens who believe their parents disapprove of substance use are less likely to experiment.

Summer break is also the most dangerous time for teen drivers — teens get into 16 percent more accidents and eight teens die every day during the 100 days following Memorial Day. Since nearly 60 percent of those accidents involve a distracted teen behind the wheel, institute strict rules for your teen drivers. Restrict them to one passenger at a time and take a zero tolerance approach to texting and driving.

One thing you shouldn’t take a zero tolerance policy on is underage drinking: While you don’t want your kids drinking before it’s legal, it’s more important to ensure they don’t drink and drive. Explain to your children that, despite your disapproval, you’ll pick them up if they ever need a safe ride home. That way, you can keep your teen from joining the 23 percent of teens who admit to driving under the influence of alcohol or marijuana.

The good news? Teens are less likely to be a victim of assault during the summer months. However, physical violence against teens peaks when the school year begins, so summer break is a good time to talk to your child about conflict resolution, de-escalation, and when to turn to an authority figure.

Conception rates among teens also plummet during summer vacation. This makes summer the ideal time to broach the talk with your teen, since they’re less likely to be on the defensive. Be sure to cover consent, contraception, and healthy relationships so your child is prepared for what the next school year throws at them.

With these numbers, you’re probably wondering how you can keep your kids safe this summer without resorting to locking them indoors. The best strategy? Keep them busy. Teens who are occupied with fun extracurriculars and family activities are less likely to find themselves in trouble. However, getting teens busy over the summer can be a challenge. Teens can be restless, and toys and trips to the pool don’t quite entertain them like they used to.

Get your teens involved in summer camp for a structured activity and positive role models in the form of college-aged counselors. Camp will help regulate your teen’s schedule so they’re not staying up all night and sleeping all day, and it also keeps them learning so they face less of a struggle when classes resume. Whether you choose drop-in camp sessions, day camp, or sleepaway camp will depend on your family’s summer schedule and budget, but any option is a great way to keep your teen happy and out of trouble.

Volunteering may not be the most appealing option for your teen at first, but volunteering at the right organization can help your teens make friends, learn about potential careers, and build a resume that will impress college admissions officers. Look for opportunities with other engaged young people, like a nature trail clean-up day or peer tutoring program.

Plan family vacations. Time away and free from distractions can help you reconnect with your teen. Building a strong parent-child relationship is central to keeping your teen on the right path. It may also alert you to concerning behavior changes that you hadn’t noticed in your busy everyday life.

No matter what approach you take to keeping your children safe this summer, make sure you find time to talk to your teens about risky behavior, peer pressure, and how they can protect themselves.

Image via Unplash

Mother/Daughter Bellydance Workshop – December 4 – Register Now


Click here for more information and to register

Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age – Sun. Sept. 18

We are thrilled to present SCREENAGERS: Growing Up in the Digital Age, a documentary about the biggest parenting issue of our time.

Are you watching kids scroll through life, with their rapid-fire thumbs and a six-second attention span? Physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston saw that happening with her own kids and began a quest to uncover how it might impact their development. As with her other two award-winning documentaries on mental health, Ruston takes a deeply personal approach as she probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including her own, to explore struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through poignant, and unexpectedly funny stories, along with surprising insights from authors, psychologists, and brain scientists, SCREENAGERS reveals how tech time impacts kids’ development and also offers solutions on how adults can empower their kids to best navigate the digital world to find balance.

SCREENAGERS addresses the most pervasive parenting issue of our time head on—depicting teen struggles over social media, video games and internet addiction. The film empowers kids to best navigate the digital world and provides practical resources to help them do it.

Tickets $10

Sunday, September 18, 2016
Time: 7:00 PM

Jewish Reconstruction Synagogue
303 Dodge Avenue Evanston, IL 60202

Buy tickets

Step Up for Youth – Sun. Sept. 11

Step Up for Youth, a 10K/5K Race and Family Fun Walk along Evanston’s lakefront.  Proceeds benefit Dajae Coleman Foundation (, a non-profit, community-based organization that honors the legacy of Dajae Coleman, a 14 year old Evanston Township High School honors student who was shot and killed when he was only 14 years old.
Get more information and register at http://www.stepupforyouth and use the code FRIEND to get $5 off of the entry fee.  In addition, event sponsor Prairie Moon Restaurant is offering a free craft beer pint to the next 50 people who register online by Sunday, August 14 11:59 PM. Check the box on page 2 to receive a coupon at packet pickup.
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September Programs for Families at EPL

A Bug's Life

Family Film and Craft @ Chicago Ave./Main St. Branch. A Bug’s Life. Saturday, September 3, 3pm, Chicago Avenue & Main Street Branch

Family Film and Craft @ Chicago Ave./Main St. Branch. The Angry Birds Movie.Saturday, September 17, 3 pm, Chicago Avenue & Main Street Branch

Register for September Storytimes

titleRegister for September Storytimes online, in person or by calling 847-448-8610

Main Children’s Room staff provide programs geared to children from 1 year olds through 5th grade starting September 12; here’s what’s still open for September:

Time for Two’s Fridays at 10:30 (Tuesdays at 10:15 am at North Branch) for 2 year olds and their parent/caregiver

All By Myself, Mondays at 11 am OR Thursdays at 1:30 pm, for 3 – 5 year olds, without parents

Family Storytime and Craft, Monday nights at 6:30 pm both at Main and North. Craft geared to 3 – 7 year olds. Working Parent Friendly!

Parent Child Workshop, Saturdays at 10 am, for 1 -3 year olds and a parent or caregiver Working Parent Friendly!

Tail Waggin Tutors, Tuesdays at 6:30 pm and 7pm for K- 5 is also taking phone registrations only starting 8/29: 847-448-8610. (Also available at North Branch on Tuesday afternoons; register at 847-866-0330 starting 8/29)

Drop In (no registration) storytimes The Young and the Restless (0-2) on Thursdays at 9:30 am and Preschool Storytime (3-6) on Wednesdays at 10:30 am continue as usual in September. Branches also have drop ins (check our calendar for dates and times)

Fall Words: Mailbox Play. Bring your 1, 2, or 3 year old to play Mailbox this September! Play is an essential tool in literacy education; come experience the fun with your child. Address envelopes to animals in the library, put them in the mailbox, and then deliver them using “US Mail” bags! September 1-30, Main Children’s Room, North Branch & Chicago Ave/Main Street (CAMS) locations

book club

Caldecott Club for Kids in K-4. Mr. Brian will share all the important and inspiring pieces that come together to make an award-winning picture book.  Kids will learn the inside scoop on how the Caldecott Medal is awarded, then read some current illustrated books and discuss the best. Thursdays,September 22, October 13, November 10, December 8, 7 pm, Children’s Public Conference Room, Main Library. Registration opens September 1. 

Programs for Teens


Chromebooks in the Loft. NEW. The Teen Loft  offers in-house use of Chromebooks for 6th to 12th graders who are EPL cardholders or those who have their library cards registered at EPL.


Loft Lab: Design. Tinker with and make all kinds of amazing projects.  Each week we’ll have a different group project from 3D design and sewing to coding.Saturdays, 1-3 pm, The Loft, Main Library

Teens laughing

Loft Laughs. Join Loft staff to explore the art of joke writing. Learn how to tell jokes that are actually funny, use satire and everyday life experiences to create jokes that guarantee laughs, appreciate great comedians, and create the best comebacks EVER! Grades 6-12.

Sign up for a reminder or drop in. Saturdays, September 17- October 22, 3-4:30 pm, The Loft, Main Library

Activities at the Evanston Public Library – Aug. 19 – 31

Register for our September Storytimes starting August 29 at 9 am: online, in person, or by calling 847-448-8610. Main Children’s Room staff provide programs geared to children from a few months old  through 5th grade. Storytimes start September 12th. See our wide range of storytime programming.


Donate Your Legos to Evanston’s Children. You can help Evanston’s kids get more Science/Technology/Engineering/Math (STEM) expertise. Donate your extra Legos. Bring your Legos to the bin in the Children’s Room to donate to new, local robotics clubs! Accepting donations until August 31.

And, coming in September…The Caldecott Club, Fall Words and the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival.


Zootopia, August Weekend Family Film: Saturday, August 20, and Sunday, August 21, 2 pm, Barbara Friedberg Storytelling Room, Main Library

More at the Branches
The Chicago Avenue/Main St. Branch (CAMS), at 900 Chicago Avenue,has a wide variety of programming including bilingual storytimes, a book discussion group, STEM Saturdays, crafts, movies, personalized computer training, and more. See all upcoming programs at the CAMS branch. 

(The North Branch, 2026 Central Street is closed for repairs and will reopen on August 29. The book drop is not available during this closure.)

More Programs for Teens

Outside the Lines Book Club. Teens will read and discuss books about strong teen protagonists pushing back again normative identities to live their lives with pride. This is a safe space for teens of all identities. This month we’ll be readingZodiac Starforce, Copies of the book are available in the Loft one month before each discussion.Grades 6-12.Wednesday, September 14, 5:30 to 7pm, The Loft, Main Library
Loft Lab: Design.  Make all kinds of amazing projects from 3D design and sewing to coding and scrapbooking. Come to all the sessions or just the ones that interest you. We provide all the supplies you bring creativity.  Grades 6-12. Drop in. New on Saturdays from 1-3, the Loft, starting in September.

See all upcoming Teen Programs including the new Loft Laughs, and latest Teen DIY.

End of Summer Bonfire Dance – Fri. Aug. 19

Say goodbye to summer in a special way:

End of Summer Bonfire and Fire Dance

Evanston youth age 12 years and older are invited to enjoy one of
the final weekends of the summer at the End of Summer Bonfire!
Throughout the night, teens will get to watch fire dancers, make
s’mores, and enjoy various games, including oversized versions of
Twister & Kerplunk!

Clark St. Beach
Sheridan Rd. at Clark St.

DATE: Fri., Aug. 19th
TIME: 7-9pm
AGE: Teens

For more information, call/text 847-448-4311. For convenience, residents can simply dial 3-1-1 while in Evanston.


Events for Teens at EPL in July


altThursday, July 28, 6:30-8:30pm, The Loft, Main Library

Come celebrate the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! This evening of magic includes being sorted, trivia, games, giveaways and more! Grades 6-12. Sign up for a reminder and or drop in.


Wednesdays, June 8-August 10, 3-5 pm, the Loft, Main Library 

Low tech and high tech come together in this series of workshops. Come to all the sessions or just the ones that interest you the most.


July 20-August 10: Collabor-action
Working in small groups during the Collabor-action sessions, we will explore various social justice issues that affect teens today, will work together to produce collaborative works of art of all kinds, from visual art pieces to stop-motion animation narrative storytelling films that address these issues.
Drop in or sign up for a reminder: July 20, July 27, August 3, August 10

Grades 6-12.



Tuesday, July 19, 6-7 pm, The Loft, Main Library

If you’re a crafty TAB veteran, you know the drill. If you’ve never even heard of TAB but you enjoy The Loft and like to indulge in free pizza now and then, you’re more than welcome to stop by and see what we’re all about. TAB members help plan, lead and set up Loft programs, assist with decision making in the Loft, decorate the space and more. We hope to see you there! For grades 6-12.Sign up for a reminder or drop in.


We provide the supplies you bring the creativity.  Grades 6-12.


Saturday, July 23, 3-4:30 pm, The Loft, Main Library

Using conductive thread and LEDs you’ll light up the room by designing your own illuminated accessories. Drop in or sign up for a reminder. 

College Boot Camp – Weds. July 13

College Boot Camp is designed for high school graduates and young adults transitioning into a college setting. In this 3-hour program, participants learn such things as campus life, how to connect with peers, how to decode a syllabus, how to set healthy boundaries and navigate difficult conversations with roommates, and how to access resources.  One of our aims is to enhance participants’ self-advocacy, time management, organizational and communication skills.  Participants also become aware of the dangers of substance abuse on college campuses (particularly the abuse of Amphetamines, such as Adderall and Ritalin) and dating/partying safety. To learn more about the curriculum or to register, please contact Silvia Acosta at 847-492-1778 or email at

ECTV Editing & Production for Kids

ECTV is holding a six week production and editing class for ages 10-15. Kids will learn basic  techniques and editing skills to help them produce their own material. Once the class is completed participants will have a one year membership that will allow them access to ECTV’s equipment and studio. The class costs $150 and will start Tuesday July 12th at 6PM to 8:30PM. For more info on how to sign up email:

Teen Night at Little Beans – Fri. July 1

Teenagers need a place to hang out and socialize and we have a great space for a fun and safe night out to hang out with friends and relax. Introducing Teen Nights. Kids aged 10-15 can be dropped off for some fun one night each month. They’ll enjoy the gym and karaoke room as well as our “after dark” ninja course with music and disco lights. The cost is $15 and they’ll have pizza, snacks and soda.

Friday, July 1st from 7-9:30pm

Register HERE.

Little Beans Cafe
430 Asbury

Evanston IL, 60201


Tinker Teens: Flipping the Selfie – Weds. June 8

Low tech and high tech come together in this series of workshops. Come to all the sessions or just the ones that interest you the most. During the Flipping the Selfie sessions, teens will reinvent the selfie (or, self-portrait, as it is also known throughout history) for the modern age, utilizing new technologies (such as 3-d printing!), blended with traditional sculpture, drawing, collage, and origami techniques to express oneself! Grades 6-12. Drop in or sign up for a reminder.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
1703 Orrington Ave., Main Library – The Loft (Third Floor)
Register Now

YJC Spring Job Fair – Thurs. May 5


Youth Job Center Summer Corps Work Experience Program

It isn’t too late for your students to apply to the Youth Job Center’s Summer Corps Work Experience program and earn money as a Summer Tutor, Y Junior Camp Counselor, ABC Booster, or an intern at the Gap, Old Navy, or Banana Republic, BUT FIRST they must register for one of the remaining Summer Corps Bootcamp sessions (April 20 or 30). These opportunities are for High School students (or those entering 9th grade in the fall) and are at least 14.

If your student was a Summer Tutor, Y Junior Camp Counselor, ABC Booster, or an intern at the Gap, Old Navy, or Banana Republic last year they will need to register. as well, but for a much shorter booster session (April 20, 27, or 30).

Youth can register here:

ALL students must complete the YJC Intake Form and Household Income & Program Consent Forms:
• YJC Intake Form:
• Household Income & Program Consent Form (if under 18, a parent must sign):

Questions? Email Nzinga West at

Afro-Futurism and Why Black Lives Matter – Feb. 26 & 29


Motivating Teens – Tues. Feb 23

WHO: David Yeager, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Developmental Psychology and Director, Adolescent Development Research Group, The University of Texas at Austin
WHAT: “Motivating Teens”
WHEN: Tuesday, February 23, 7:00 PM
WHERE: North Shore Country Day School Auditorium, 310 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka, IL, 60093

Building Resilient Youth – Tues. Feb. 23

Please join us for the next Evanston Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition presentation & discussion on Tuesday, February 23rd from 6:30-8:30pm at Evanston Township High School Welcome Center- E112. We will be welcoming Erika’s Lighthouse and PEER Services to explore strategies to build healthy, resilient youth and explore the connection between substance use and suicide.

Building Resilient Youth_Flyer

Summer Youth Employment Program Job Fair Applications Available

Applications Now Available

Evanston youth age 14 to 18 years are encouraged to find their perfect summer job at Mayor Tisdahl’s annual Summer Youth Employment Program (MSYEP) Job Fair on Saturday, March 12, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Evanston Township High School (ETHS), 1600 Dodge Ave. Doors will close at 1:30 p.m.

More than 40 employers providing summer and year-round employment will be present, including Six Flags Great America (transportation options available), Hyatt House Chicago/Evanston, McGaw YMCA, Salvation Army-Evanston, YoFresh Yogurt Cafe, Office Depot, Northwestern University, the City of Evanston, and more.

Youth are highly encouraged to fill out a Summer Youth Employment Program application in advance, which will expedite the process at the job fair. Applications are available at, or youth may get assistance and ask questions from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at one of these outreach sessions:

• Chandler-Newberger Community Center, 1028 Central St. – Monday, February 22
• Robert Crown Center, 1701 Main St. – Tuesday, February 23
• Evanston Library Loft, 1703 Orrington Ave. – Wednesday, February 24
• Levy Senior Center, 300 Dodge Ave. – Wednesday, February 24
• Fleetwood-Jourdain Center, 1655 Foster St. – Thursday, February 25
• CAMS Branch Library, 900 Chicago Ave. – Friday, February 26
• All ETHS Cafeterias – February 22-26, Lunch periods 4-6

Mayors Youth Logo_web.jpg

In order to be eligible to attend the job fair, youth must be enrolled in school; be at least 14 years of age when the program begins in June 2016; and live in ZIP codes 60201 or 60202. Youth age 17 and 18 years are especially encouraged to attend the job fair, as many opportunities exist for both summer and year-round employment.

Students are encouraged to increase their chances of being hired and get an opportunity to jump the line at the job fair by attending a Pre-Fair Resume & Interview Skills Workshop, sponsored by the Youth Job Center. Workshops will be held on Wednesdays, March 2 and 9, from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., at ETHS’s Boltwood (West) Cafeteria. Students are encouraged to register for a workshop at

In 2015, with the help of community organizations and local businesses, as well as partnerships with ETHS and the Youth Job Center, the MSYEP held its largest job fair ever. More than 600 Evanston youth attended the event, with more than 550 securing summer or year-round employment.

Collaborations with individuals, companies, and organizations, such as Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin, Cinemark Theatres, Evanston Township High School, and Northwestern University, contributed greatly to the success of last year’s program. Businesses who are interested in supporting and/or attending this year’s job fair and program can contact Youth & Young Adult Assistant Program Coordinator Porschia Davis at 847-448-8049 or

For more information, please call/text 847-448-4311. For convenience, residents may simply dial 3-1-1 in Evanston.

Hackstudio Spring Registration is Open

Hackstudio offers a ten-week program, April 4 – June 2, designed to help individuals discover and pursue their dreams – and get them DONE. Learn more about our program on our website at

Click here to register now!

Career Day for Girls @ NU – Register by Feb. 5

The Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University is pleased to announce 45th annual Career Day for Girls, scheduled for Saturday, February 27, 2016.

This program is designed for female junior high and high school students who have an interest in science and mathematics. The program will contain educational and career information about opportunities in engineering and applied science. Speakers are women who have engineering degrees and current female engineering students.

Registration Information

All registrations must be received by February 5, 2016.


For More Information: Contact Sareena Daniel by email at

Saturday, February 27, 2016 McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science
2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208
8:30 am – 3:30 pm