by Paula Coughlan
SUGAR GROVEâ€”Kaelynn Wilson-Bennett of Sugar Grove always has loved reading and writing, and in college founded a literary magazine. Now she wants to provide a place where other young writers can compose and share their works, and to assist them in honing their talents.
â€œI always wished I had someone to help me,â€ she said.
Wilson-Bennett currently is reading approximately 1,000 surveys to help her set a direction for teenage reading and writing clubs that will meet at the Teen Zone at the Sugar Grove Public Library. Local high-school and middle-school teachers distributed the surveys to their students for Wilson-Bennett. The survey also is available at the Sugar Grove Libraryâ€™s website, www.sugargrove.lib.il.us.
Wilson-Bennett wants the reading groups to focus on fun, new and trendy books. The groups will only visit the classics if that is what their members want, because they will select the titles.
She is planning a possible kick-off party during the summer, perhaps with a movie marathon showing â€œHarry Potterâ€ movies or the â€œTwilightâ€ series, holding the first meeting afterward.
Library Board member Julie Wilson likes Wilson-Bennettâ€™s idea.
â€œIt is really important to keep the younger minds involved with reading. And discussions with your peers opens doors and ideas,â€ Wilson said. â€œI think joining reading with the creative writing will only help. It is the hope of the Sugar Grove Library Board that this program will catch on and keep growing.â€
In addition to starting the teen groups, Wilson-Bennett hopes to put her literary magazine experience to use, providing a showcase for local writersâ€™ work.
â€œMy long-term goal is for the Sugar Grove Public Library to put out a literary magazine with submissions from students and the community,â€ Wilson-Bennett said. â€œThe members in the club will help me with the process, learning how to lay out pages and edit.