Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Friends Sponsor Santa Monica Teen Film Festival and Summer Reading

At their February 15 Board meeting the Friends of the Library Board voted to support the Santa Monica Teen Film Festival and Summer Reading, two essential programs offered by the Santa Monica Public Library Youth Services department.

For the past 5 years, the Santa Monica
Teen Film Festival has been the premiere teen film festival in the Los Angeles/Westside area. This endeavor is an interdepartmental collaboration between the Santa Monica Public Library, Virginia Ave. Park Teen Center, and Cultural Affairs. The festival has grown from 40 submissions and a one-day screening the first year to over 150 submissions and a two-day screening in 2010. The film festival receives films from all over the country (Hawaii, New York, Indiana, etc.), as well as Canada.

For the past two years, the Friends of the Santa Monica Library have been a significant sponsor of the festival by funding the film festival prizes. These prizes are an added incentive for the filmmakers and help encourage teens to continue their passion for filmmaking.

The Friends Board also agreed to provide additional funding support for the 2011 Summer Reading Program. Studies have shown that reading for pleasure (not assigned reading) is the best incentive to encourage lifelong learning. Summer Reading 2010 registered a 34% increase in participation that reached nearly 3,000 babies, children and teens; and after 10 weeks participants had read more than a million minutes. The Friends support makes summer reading possible by funding programs, special events, prizes and bags.

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