The Library Foundation Teen Council demonstrated leadership through its inaugural community event—Gateway to Learning zone at the Cupertino Fall Festival in September.
Showcasing Learning Opportunities
Cupertino Rotary and The World Journal co-sponsor the Fall Festival annually. This year, ten booths were allocated to the Gateway to Learning zone specifically for the Cupertino Library Foundation Teen Council. Each booth was staffed by a teen council member and 2-3 volunteers for each shift.
The purpose was to showcase the variety of learning opportunities, especially around STEAM, for children and teens. These resources are easily available through Cupertino Library online and in-house resources, and the initiatives sponsored by the Cupertino Library Foundation.
Passports and Raffle
Out of the 10 booths, Frisbee decorating and the science discovery booths were the most active. Most attendees to the booths ranged from kindergarten to 8th grade. A passport card was filled out by over 100 attendees, and two winning raffle card holders received Apple Gift cards valued at $25.
Volunteer for Next Year
The teen attendees especially loved the T-Pumps tea drinks, and even with the cooler weather, these local favorite drinks were all sold out by the end of the day. A number of teen and adult volunteers were recruited by the Teen Council to staff the booths. The Teen Council has added new members to its ranks for 2015-16.
Meet Shail Trivedi
“For the last three years, I have been the teen leader of the S^4-Super Summer Science Search contest task force, presented by the Cupertino Library Foundation. We have been able to attract, train and motivate hundreds of middle-school students to this educational experience. They are learning how to do primary research at the Library, while having fun. I have learned planning, leadership and execution skills I know will be invaluable at college, and throughout my adult life.
In 2014, the Foundation formed a Teen Council and I was fortunate to be the teen leader of this initiative as well. We successfully planned and executed a ‘Gateway to Learning’ Zone (with 10 booths) for the annual Rotary Fall Festival. I led the planning process, and we maneuvered through the pitfalls and challenges along the way. Problem solving, team work, and creative thinking resulted. The community, the festival hosts and the CLF board were most pleased with the results. We made money, but more importantly, we offered learning experiences for the attendees. I will help this year until I am off to college.”
Meet Suma Irrinki, Ashvin’s mother
“Before the S^4 Science Contest, my son Ashvin did not have a clear interest area. The contest prompt led him to medical solutions, partly based on a personal family situation. He was hooked-on the research, the possible solutions, and the prospect of eventually helping people. He has been fortunate to be a contest winner for two years. And, he told me he has found what he thinks will be his life’s work-medical solutions that matter. And, he just joined the Library Foundation Teen Council where he will hone his leadership skills. We are all very pleased.”
Meet Keerthi Krishnan
“For the last three years, I have been a member of the Library Foundation S^4-Super Summer Science Search contest task force, and a member in 2014-15 of the newly formed Teen Council. I have been encouraged to use my curiosity, creativity, and problem solving skills while being a part of a team. It is an invaluable learning and leadership opportunity.
I served as the CFO of our Gateway to Learning Zone for the Fall Festival in September 2015. It was a challenge to keep us in line with our budget, as every member had great ideas. In the end we made some money, and the CLF Board was pleased with our effort. We’re going to do it again in 2016.”