Children + Teens

elementia is a magazine for teens produced by teens. The publication connects published artists with talented young adults through submissions of original poetry, fiction, nonfiction, graphic stories, photography and illustrations.  Library staff working with the teen volunteers offer workshops on graphic design and critique skills to help committee members hone their judging skills.

The publication’s editorial and design committees include high school students from all over Johnson County who volunteer their time to read and discuss each submitted piece. Since its inception in 2005, elementia has included the voices of more than 650 creative young adults.

6 by 6: Ready to Read
Recognizing its unique role in brain development the Johnson County Library Foundation created 6 by 6 Ready to Read, an early literacy program in English and Spanish designed to be applicable and approachable for everyone. 6 by 6 focuses on six pre-reading skills to help kids get ready for formal education. This includes storytime, activity spaces and outreach, all designed to make learning to read easier when the time comes.

Each week, the Library plans and presents multiple day and evening storytimes for babies, toddlers and preschoolers to demonstrate early literacy and pre-reading skills through songs, rhymes, movement activities and, of course, high-quality children’s books. A team of the Library’s early literacy specialists also plans the activities in our 6 by 6 activity spaces. These areas are more than a random assemblage of toys. Instead, each center includes activities designed to reinforce one more of our six pre-reading skills.

Race Project KC
Whether we want to or not, we all live inside filter bubbles. Our experience of the world is limited by filters beyond our control. This happens online and in every aspect of our lives. Our physical locations, jobs, interpersonal networks, cultures, and much more not only give us our identities, they also limit, and segregate.

Race Project KC, an annual immersive social justice initiative sponsored by Johnson County Library, aims to help high school students understand Kansas City’s and Johnson County’s story of structural racism and how it continues to impact us today. We also offer access to the Dividing Lines audio tour, which allows listeners to explore the history of segregation in the Kansas City metro, at their own pace and in their own vehicles. And you can find book and media resource recommendations from our Librarians on, such as this list of books for kids and teens by Black authors and Fiction by People of Color.

Thank you to those who have donated so far or reached out about partnership opportunities in support of Race Project KC. If you would like to contribute toward their 2021 initiatives and beyond, please visit the Johnson County Library Foundation donation page and type Race Project KC in the “in honor of” field.

Summer Reading
Studies show that students who read at least six books during the summer can avoid the loss of critical reading and cognitive skills that occur over the summer months known as “summer slide.” Additionally, having books at home is strongly linked with academic achievement.

From mid-May until the end of July, Johnson County Library helps combat summer slide by providing a free book to every child. By growing children’s personal libraries and helping them find intrinsic value in reading, the library bridges that summer learning gap and invests in the future of our community.

Brainfuse offers a suite of materials related to high school equivalency, homework help, resume review, skills improvement, test prep (including for U.S. citizenship) & so much more!

Access the Brainfuse Adult Learning Center through our Library website to get live online assistance and information on high school equivalency, U.S. citizenship preparation, Microsoft Office help, and writing assistance. Brainfuse HelpNow offers live online tutoring such as homework help, writing assistance, test preparation. Brainfuse JobNow offers live job-search coaching and a variety of tools for resume building, interview preparation, career exploration.

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