Library forum gives teens chance to be heard
Contra Costa Times
HAVING SOMETHING TO SAY and having a place to say it are two different things, especially for teenagers. But now there will be an open forum for teens in Castro Valley to be seen and heard at Open Mike Night every first Monday of the month at the Castro Valley Library.
Open Mike is not to be confused with a poetry slam (unless you feel like slamming some poetry around) and is a reality thanks to the efforts of Castro Valley High School senior Ryden Ishida, who thinks teens should have a place to speak their mind about any topic without restrictions.
He was inspired after attending a leadership program in Washington, D.C.
Although Ryden tried to get the open mike series off the ground last year it wasn't until this year that he and library assistant Nathan Silva hammered out the details.
"Nathan was very excited about he idea, and it all just came together," says Ryden, who adds that his mother, Barbara Telford-Ishida, is a librarian in Newark, where an open mike program has been in place for a while.
The first open mike was Monday evening and Ryden performed emcee duties as well as speaking. He chose a topic from a recent English class, "Who Are You?" As future open mikes take place he is hoping to see a full house of speakers and topics.
Not only are high school teens invited to express themselves creatively, but they are invited to share their own artistic creations, comedy, and musical compositions, poetic and other written works with their
Teens are also serving on library advisory boards more and more.
One Teen Among Adults on the Library Board by Alyssa Ratledge in the October 2007 VOYA details her two terms on the board. What a great idea.