Teens Given Outlet In Pine

Library creates theater troupe, open mic night for teens

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Pine and Strawberry teens and "tweens" are invited to make some noise in the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library thanks to its new youth program coordinator, Sandy Carver.

"I love poetry, drama and kids, so this is the perfect job for me," she said.

The ex-English teacher from Red Mountain High School in Mesa said when she worked as an aide in Pine-Strawberry Elementary School, she found that many middle schoolers were interested in poetry.

"When I taught English, a lot of teens loved poetry -- not to take a test on it, but to write their own feelings," she said.

"Hunka Hunka Burnin' Love" is the theme of the next Teen Poet's Society Meeting from 5 to 6 p.m. on Feb. 1.

"Bring your favorite poem about love and heartbreak or write poems and share those," Carver said. "Musicians, bring your guitar or other instrument to provide soft background music.

"I hope this will naturally develop into an open mic thing -- kind of an old coffeehouse atmosphere where teens can really read and share poetry and not worry about being graded, judged or evaluated."

February's book display at the library will feature books about teen love, friendship and heartbreak.

For those teens who want to share what they have read, a book discussion group meets from noon to 1 p.m. on Feb. 24.

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Sandy Carver, Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library's new youth program coordinator.

Budding writers will gather from noon to 1 p.m. Jan. 27 and again on Feb. 10 to share poems, essays and stories they have created.

Also an ex-drama teacher, Carver's ultimate goal behind forming the Junior High Positive Players and the Teen Drama and Improv Company is to choose, rehearse and perform a play for children and the community, possibly this summer.

"If acting and make-believe is your passion, come to the first meeting on Jan. 12," Carver said. The Positive Players will meet from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

The Teen Drama and Improv Company will meet for the first time on Thursday, Jan. 18 from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

The group's second meeting will be held at the same time on Feb. 15.

The troupes will need both actors and people behind the scenes.

Carver plans drama games and play reading for the meetings.

"I know these are big plans, but eventually these will build into a great program for teens and pre-teens," Carver said.

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