Teen Reading Lounge virtual meeting with Rep. Scanlon at Upper Darby Free Library Municipal Branch.
Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon talks education, mental health with Upper Darby Teen Reading Lounge
Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05) met virtually with Upper Darby youth.

Nearly 20 young people from Upper Darby Free Library Municipal Branch's Teen Reading Lounge and the Upper Darby mayor's youth advisory committee gathered safely outdoors for a special virtual meeting with Representative Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05).

With phones and tablets in hand, the teens engaged Scanlon in an hour-long conversation about issues they were concerned about: education, gun violence, the environment, and mental health issues. 

Scanlon gave thoughtful answers and offered some of her personal political journey, including her early concern for environmental issues based on experiences growing up as a teenager in Watertown, New York near the Canadian border.

Young people used tablets and phones to ask Rep. Scanlon questions about issues important to them.

Teen Reading Lounge (TRL) is PHC’s award-winning, nontraditional book club for youth with sites across the state. Participants work together to co-create the reading list and, with support from trained facilitators, design creative projects and organize events, like the Scanlon meeting, that connect themes in their books to tangible action in their communities.

Scanlon invited Upper Darby teens to join her Congressional Youth Cabinet.

"Through TRL, our teens have been participating in local governance by having six teens serve on three different Upper Darby township committees." said Jean Kosha, Teen Reading Lounge coordinator and library assistant at Upper Darby Free Library Municipal Branch.  "Meeting with Representative Scanlon gave them a chance to ask her about national and world issues important to them."

Scanlon concluded her virtual visit by inviting the young people to join her Congressional Youth Cabinet (CYC), a nonpartisan initiative to provide high school students in Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District with an opportunity to learn more about Congress and the policymaking process. Members of the CYC get to share their ideas about solving pressing issues facing young Americans and have the opportunity to connect with other elected officials, peers, and community leaders.

"Through reading and discussing different perspectives and social issues, Teen Reading Lounge ultimately aims to nurture empathic young leaders and engaged citizens," said Julia Terry, PHC's education officer. "These young peoples' concern for their community, humanity at large, and the environment was clear in the depth and maturity of their questions and the agency and commitment they bring to their work."

Teen Reading Lounge participants in Upper Darby gather outdoors for a virtual meeting with Rep. Scanlon.


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