3.3 Building Community and Connections

Connected learning helps teens plug into their community, defined by geography or interest, and build a network of connections and support. Connected learning is a social activity, bringing people of different ages and backgrounds together around common interests and goals. Working with peers and mentors reinforces a teen’s learning, motivates them to participate, and helps them develop the “soft” skills they need to succeed in society. Additionally, as teen culture becomes more and more participatory, teens need 21st century skills to fully engage with society.

Connected learning also emphasizes community relationships, which the public library is well-suited to form. Partnerships with community organizations, businesses, and informal learning institutions can enhance learning experiences and provide access to materials and expertise that the library could not provide alone.

The power of participation

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Henry Jenkins

Learning Activity: Teen Employment in Your Area

Read Employment and Disconnection Among Teens and Young Adults from the Brookings Institution. Explore the interactive feature, using the closest metropolitan area to you as a filter.