Philadelphia, PA: LEAP/Maker

LEAP/Maker is the merger of the formerly grant-funded Maker Jawn and LEAP. The Free Library’s Literacy Enrichment Afterschool Program – LEAP – advances literacy by promoting a love of reading, guides learning with homework assistance, and inspires curiosity by sharing hands-on STEAM, maker, and humanities programs and activities with children and teens. LEAP/Maker expands upon LEAP’s programming focusing on youth-driven maker interests. Our program employs a trauma-informed approach that promotes a feeling of safety through space, content, and personal interactions. LEAP/Maker also promotes social justice by stressing access to resources for underserved populations and offers a diverse range of activities that include culinary literacy, robotics, bike repair, sewing, and 3D sculptures. With in-person programming suspended in 2020 due to COVID, LEAP and our LEAP/Maker activities have moved to social media, as we focus on promoting teen-led projects and at-home schooling tips.

Youth-run Design and Research at the Free Library of Philadelphia, Summer 2012

From July to August 2012, 35 teens from Philadelphia worked at the Free Library to give their voice to what sort of environment and programs the library should offer for youth in Philly.

35 youth ages 14-19 served as Teen Programming Assistants for the Free Library of Philadelphia’s 2012 Summer Literacy and Leadership Program—a program funded by WorkReady Philadelphia. Read the rest »

The Free Library of Philadelphia’s Maker Jawn Initiative Receives IMLS Leadership Grant

The Free Library of Philadelphia’s Maker Jawn Initiative has been awarded a National Leadership Grant for multi-generational Makerspaces in North Philadelphia, where we have been focusing our efforts as a YOUmedia Learning Lab, creating scalable space for youth programming. The Free Library initiative is one of only 31 projects chosen nationwide to receive a National Leadership Grant from IMLS. Read the rest »

Philly Teens Prep for College Through Making and Badging

The summer before freshman year at college can be tricky—filled with anticipation, transitions, and sometimes nerves. For teens participating in a college preparation program at the Free Library of Philadelphia last summer, it was also filled with making, film production, and creating a set of badges for younger kids. Read the rest »