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Summer Reading & Podcasting!

What did you do on your summer vacation? Connectopod spent the summer at one of our favorite places in all the world: the library! The Los Angeles Public Library to be specific. Through our partnership with Los Angeles Public Library's Performers Program, Connectopod offered free, one day podcasting workshops at 7 LAPL branches! We got to meet some great library patrons who told us about their varied interests through the mic! We also met the wonderful Young Adult Librarians that make incredible library programming for teens possible.

We Heart Librarians!

Have we mentioned we kind of LOVE librarians? Well, we do. We follow librarians like groupies follow rock stars! (It's true - our favorite librarian in the whole wide world, Marcia Melkonian, recently relocated to the LAPL Canoga Park Branch, and we followed her there to podcast with her teen group. More on that later!). This summer, we met some other really cool librarians. A special thank you to Cindy Holsey, Teen Librarian at Northridge Branch, Kenneth Ornstein at Lake View Terrace Branch, Kelli Lowers at West Valley Regional Branch, and Emily Meehan from the Palms Rancho Park Branch!

You've Got a Voice, Kid. Use It!

Our summer workshops at the library were 2 hour sessions - much shorter than the time we usually spend with our students! This meant that the youth participants were on the mic in no time. And, wow, did they have lots to say! A great example is the Palms- Rancho Park Teens who are Leading Change in their community. They are participating in a project to learn about people experiencing homelessness in their communities and learning ways that they can affect change.

"What's Cookin'?" Nutrition Series

In addition to our one day workshops, Connectopod offered a 6 week podcast series on Nutrition at the Canoga Park Branch with a group of 12 teens thanks to the support of Marcia Melkonian, our favorite librarian on the whole planet! The four shows are a real treat. Nutrition is a big deal at the LAPL during the summer. They are summer lunch sites for kids that are out of school, making sure that our young people never miss a nutritious meal!

In episode 1: Comfort Food, The Canoga Park Branch Library talking about nutrition. Podcasters Alexandra Espinoza and Mitzy Rodriguez get out of their comfort zone! Using the 'roving reporter mics' they ask complete strangers (as well as a few strange acquaintances) about their comfort foods.

In episode 2: It’s all Rice, first-time podcasters Fariha Karim, Joie Solano, and Samantha Peruch, who connect cultures and cuisines with humble grains of rice.

Episode 3: An Organic Debate featuring podcasters Safwan Muntasir and Ehram Subhan debate the pros and cons of organic vs GMO.

and Series episode 4: Healthy RecipesCanoga Park Library's feature podcasters Itzel Huerta and Ever Blanco-Cruz interview each other about recipes grounded in their family's cultures. Turns out healthy is delicious too!

This series was supported by a grant from the California Library Association.

"Have To Got Kits, Will Travel"

How can we offer podcast programming in o many parts of Los Angeles? Our classroom is completely mobile! Our to-go kits consist of small Apogee Mic and a used iPhone. These to-go cases are small enough to fit in a backpack. Maybe we will be at a location near you soon!

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