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.
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 who comes into the library. 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.
Homework Help and Tutor.com
Generously funded by the R.A. Long Foundation and the Flo Harris Foundation, Homework Help and Tutor.com provide students with supplemental homework help through an after-school program at the Central Resource Library.
This service directly serves three of the four Title 1 Shawnee Mission elementary schools within walking distance of the Central Resource Library. Cumulative results show 80 percent of the students served through the program demonstrate increased independence in completing homework assignments and report learning new skills and information-gathering tools.
Tutor.com, provided with generous support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman foundation, offers live, real-time tutoring and homework help every day from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., plus essay or math help drop-off with detailed feedback within 24 hours. The SkillsCenter Resource Library within the Tutor.com platform also offers 24/7 study resources and test prep with a range of worksheets, lessons, videos and more. Students and tutors can access Tutor.com online through the Johnson County Library website or through the Tutor.com To Go app.