Personalize your school locker with handcrafted bling! Middle schoolers were welcomed to join us in school-themed crafting that would add flair to their lockers while adding organizational value at the same time.
I originally got this idea from a pin on Pinterest showing emoji magnets. They looked relatively easy to make and I thought they would look cute in a middle schooler's locker. I then found more crafts and creations that would appeal to this age range and decided on a program for late summer or early fall.
Our library plans programs at least four months in advance, so I finalized these plans in June 2016 and picked early September for my date. We held the program on a Wednesday from 4 to 5 p.m.
This was a simple craft program that was easy to replicate but linked to a theme and promoted positive excitement for school.
We promoted this event in our e-newsletter and printed event guide that is mailed to residents. It was featured in the section specifically targeted to middle schoolers.
This program was relatively low cost and could be made less or more expensive depending on the crafts you choose. Most of my materials were already owned or purchased online. I spent a total of $130. Some of the things were supplies to keep, others were expendable.
I was the only staff person to run this program. The program was held in a smaller space, and I wanted to control the quality of items offered, so I set a registration limit of 10 kids.
I set up each craft and its accompanying supplies at separate tables so the kids could maneuver between stations and complete any projects they chose.
The hardest challenge for me was finding an age-appropriate way to handle the mess that is glitter in a new space. Most of the kids were great, but we did have a few that couldn't handle their glitter very well.
Eight of the 10 registration spots were filled and attended. We provided clothespins, magnet clips, clear plastic sheet protectors, magnetic dry erase markers, glitter, magnets and marker pens.
Students had the freedom to create from scratch or follow prompted ideas like dry erase calendars , emoji magnets  and magnetic clips . Our most popular craft was a reusable calendar made from dry erase pockets  with handmade calendar sheets inserted. The only problem was that it didn’t fit comfortably in their lockers, so when we repeat this program we will make them smaller.
After the program, kids were excited to use their creations in their lockers to improve organization and productivity, as well as show off their style at school.
This program is easy to execute as-is, trimmed down or even bigger. It all depends on the crafts you choose, as well as the materials you provide. Cap your registration at the number you are comfortable working with at one time.
Overall, I try to schedule my programs for as short of a time slot as possible, both to get over-scheduled kids to squeeze this into their day and to avoid idle time.
About This Library
The Glen Ellyn Public Library serves a community of approximately 27,000 people and is located about 20 miles west of the city of Chicago. The current library, built in 1995, has 52,000 square feet on three floors. The library holds over 220,000 items including books, magazines, DVDs and CDs. The library subscribes to over a dozen online databases and conducts programs and events for all ages.