Teens spread graffiti at Yukon library

Summer program features positive messages

Cousins Angela Stow, 12, and Kaimara Stow, 16, encourage library visitors with their graffiti art signs highlighting the words “courage” and “shine bright.” (Photo by Cara Pattison)

By Cara Pattison
Contributing Writer

A group of teenagers spread graffiti around the Mabel C. Fry Library – in the form of positive messages.

For a recent summer reading program “All Together Now” themed activity, library staff put together a graffiti art project where the teens used paper and fancy art supplies to create graffiti art signs that were placed around the library.

“Our teen group’s signs that focused on positivity and self-expression were placed around the library where they could cheer anyone up that needed it,” Children’s Librarian Stephanie Askeland said. “Some of the words they chose to make into art included happy, courage, shine bright, be you, hope, and love. It was great to witness the beauty they placed on the words with the artistic touch.”

Since June 1, the Mabel C. Fry Library staff have put on summer program activities each week. The theme of “All Together Now” encourages kids to explore together through activities, programs, and books.

“From June 1 through July 30, registered participants may participate in the Early Literacy Program, Children’s Summer Program, or Young Adult Summer Reading Program – depending on their age or grade at school in the fall.”

Budding artist Maddie Newlin, 13, wants to share the word “happy” with library visitors via her graffiti art project she created for the Young Adult Summer Reading Program event on Thursday. (Photo by Cara Pattison)
Aidan Duke, 13, grins as he works on his graffiti art project centering around the word “peace” that is currently on display at the library. (Photo by Cara Pattison)

In the Early Literacy program, children birth through kindergarten have a special story time together each week, and can complete fun reading activities with their parents.

The Children’s Summer Program allows students entering grades 1-5 in the fall to attend weekly in-person programs brought by local presenters each Tuesday, and by reading books.

So far, registered kids have enjoyed a kick-off party, extreme animals, a comedy show, and interactive storytelling. In July, participants will enjoy a Will Rogers-style rope trick demonstration, movie day at the library, an art empowerment speaker.

The Young Adult Summer Reading Program is for middle school and high school students going into grades 6-12 this fall. Participants earn points by registering for and attending Thursday programs.

The teens have enjoyed a tie dye t-shirt part, extreme animals, the Science Museum Superhero Round-Up, and graffiti art. Next month, they will get to register to watch The Goonies movie, make friendship bracelets, solve a murder mystery, and attending a Hogwarts Acceptance Letter party.

Participants in the Children’s and Young Adult Summer Reading Program that log 500 minutes may spin the library’s prize wheel, and those that log 1,000 minutes in the ReadSquared app by July 31 will be able to spin the prize wheel and attend an end-of-summer pool party at City Splash Pool on Aug. 1 from 6-8 p.m.

“We’ve had an excellent turn-out this summer!” Askeland said. “There are families that bring in all their kids for the programs and the whole family leaves with piles of books to read before the next week’s events.”

For more information, visit the library’s website or Facebook page, or call 405-354-8232.

Lydia Harris, 16, shows her graffiti art project that spreads the spirit of hope to library patrons of all ages. (Photo by Cara Pattison)
Library Associate Lindsay Ogle shows a piece of graffiti art to the Young Adult Summer Reading group before turning them loose with markers and paints to create their own sign as part of the weekly teen programming. (Photo by Cara Pattison)