Great Mini-Grant Programs

Hear Us: Teens From Across DeKalb

Effuah Chisholm, Librarian
DeKalb County Public Library – Clarksburg Library
Clarkston, GA

Effuah Chisholm wanted to provide library teens with a vehicle to learn, collaborate and express themselves. She decided to create a Teen Zine Project and applied for a EJK Mini-Grant to get it off the ground!

With the help of local volunteer facilitators with photography, mixed media arts, creative writing and graphic design expertise, the DeKalb County Public Library – Clarksburg Library held a series of five weekend workshops for teens to create a collaborative Zine, Hear Us: Teen Voices From Across DeKalb.

During the workshops, teens received hands-on training in the use of tools and techniques used in publishing printed works. Teens learned how to take great photos using digital cameras and their own cellphones! In the mixed media arts session, teens learned about collage and used a variety of supplies including acrylic paints, brush pen art markers, gel medium and photocopies of their digital pictures.

Students were provided intriguing prompts, in the creative writing session, to get their creative juices flowing. “They were asked to draw a picture with words using fresh, vivid language to create an image. The exercise instructed participants to make their language “new, creative and alluring” by listing nouns and verbs. Next, they were directed to use the noun as a verb and the verb as a noun or an adjective!”

To compile the Zine and get it print ready, students received hands-on training with InDesign software and learned graphic design terminology. The teens designed every part of the Zine from creating and formatting content to designing the cover page and writing their bios. “I enjoyed participating in the Teen Zine project. My artistic skills have a chance to be recognized by adults and teenagers in the community.“ (Travon)

We think you’ll agree, they did a fantastic job! (Link to PDF of the Teen Zine)