The New York Public Library's Teen Reading Ambassadors internship program brings together 10th–12th grade students to help further the Library's mission to inspire lifelong learning in others, particularly young children. Ambassadors work at NYPL After School programs across the city providing tutoring and literacy enrichment activities to children ages 6–12. They also show children the joy of reading by connecting them with engaging books from the Library’s collections!
We're so excited to announce the release of the third issue of Portal, our magazine for kids ages 6–12 written, edited, and designed by the Teen Reading Ambassadors. The theme of this issue is DREAMS.
The magazine features stories, comics, poems, and recipes, countless activities (including a board game, coloring page, and personality quiz), interviews with people who achieved their dreams, original artwork by kids just like you, and so much more!
Read Portal Issue #3 digitally or pick up a copy at your local NYPL branch starting Monday, August 7th.
To give you a taste of what you’ll find in the magazine, we interviewed the Teen Reading Ambassadors, chatted with an NYPL staff member, and compiled dreamy book recommendations.
LISTEN, WATCH, and BROWSE below!
The Teen Reading Ambassadors shared their thoughts about the Library, the magazine, and the TRA program. Click on the audio recordings to hear their ideas in their own words!
What did you create for Portal?
“The piece that I did was dreams in real life. I [interviewed] curators at the Library and they all chose a piece that they thought was representative of dreams. I talked about that and then made it into a format where you could look at the piece and understand the meaning behind it.” —Walaa Alyamani, Chatham Square Library
Walaa’s interviews can be found on pages 20–21!
“I did a piece on the science behind dreaming. [It’s] a combination of why we dream—there are different theories behind that—and also generally at what point in your sleep you dream…” —Angelina Mejia, Bloomingdale Library
Flip to pages 34–35 to check out Angie’s nonfiction piece!
How do you think the Library supports kids' dreams?
“[The Library] offers a safe haven for kids to explore new ideas and be themselves, when where they go to school or where they are at home might not allow that. And it’s a really great place to forge new connections and friendships.” —Mollie Kuritzky, Jerome Park Library
“I think the Library provides a lot of assistance. There are a lot of figures at the Library you can go to, talk to… they give perfect advice.” —Annabelle Guzman, Morrisania Library
“I think libraries really encourage kids to be open and explore new opportunities, and not be scared of any challenges that come at them.” —Selina Lin, Chatham Square Library
Jaimely De Leon, a Teen Reading Ambassador at the Kingsbridge Library, interviewed Adriana Blancarte-Hayward, the Senior Manager of Outreach Services at NYPL.
Adriana talked about her dreams as a child, her work at the Library, being bilingual in New York City, and so much more. The videos below show snippets of Jaimely’s conversation with Adriana. You can find the interview in both English and Spanish on pages 44–45 of the magazine!
At The New York Public Library, we believe what teens have to say matters. Read more from Teen Voices at NYPL.