February 21, 2018

Editorial: Solomon’s Gift

By LJ Staff

In the last 18 months, School Library Journal has published a steady diet of features on improving student performance. However, today’s teens have so much more to deal with than GPAs and SATs. Societal pressures, the media, and the at-risk environments in which some teens live all pose tremendous challenges to them evolving into prosperous adults. Teens can only successfully complete the critical journey to adulthood with an essential balance of practical advice, guidance, and training that aren’t normally part of a school’s curricular mix.

The public library is filling the life-skills void for teenagers in many communities, offering programs ranging from personal finance workshops to health and career seminars to college prep courses as well as summer employment. An increasing number of these programs are including teens in the planning and implementation of their own programs, thanks to a teen advocate from East Orange, NJ, named Solomon Steplight.

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