Youth @ BTBL

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Welcome! This is a resource for youth to view news pertaining directly to them. Review book lists, read news stories, learn about scholarships, and more. 

Letters About Literature


The Library of Michigan is announcing the 2017 Letters About Literature program. This national program through the Library of Congress is a reading-writing contest that invites readers in grades 4 through 12 to write letters to authors of books that have changed their lives. Letters from students in grades 9-12 have a deadline of December 2, 2016, and students in grades 4-8 have a deadline of January 9, 2017. You can find more information at

Tips for Writing Term Papers


The American Federation for the Blind (AFB) recently published an article on writing term papers for high school and college students that are blind. Read the article, written by JJ Meddaugh in July of 2016.

Summer Reading Comes to an End

Posted 8/18/2016

Summer Reading 2016 officially ends tomorrow, August 19th.  Winners for the challenges will be announced in the Fall newsletter. Thank you to everyone that participated, and we hope you had fun!

Mancala Game Activity

Final Mailing - Thank you!

Win BIG with Summer Reading!

Posted 8/8/2016

The third summer reading packets were sent out and you can expect Olympic-sized fun to be included! Don't forget that you can return multiple Bingo Reading Challenge cards for more chances to enter to win a $25 gift card! Also, don't forget about the Summer Reading Event on August 18th from 1-3 in the BTBL Lobby. RSVP to save a seat!

Olympic Athlete Activity

Bingo Reading Challenge

Just Keep Reading!

Posted 7/22/2016

The second summer reading packets were mailed out to everyone this morning!! There will be a couple of surprises inside so keep an eye on the mailbox! Included in the packet will be a Kids' Yoga Pose activity for participants to try out at home. Remember, this year summer reading is all about wellness and fitness so try something new and get active! Included below are also the links to websites that have other book programs going on right now. Visit those links for more information. On Your Mark, Get Set, READ!

Yoga Pose Activity Sheet

Michigan Department of Education- Low Incidence Outreach

Seedlings Book Angel Program

Let Summer Reading Begin!

Posted 7/8/2016

Starting Monday, July 11th, BTBL Summer Reading officially begins! All participants signed up for the program will receive their first packet in the mail next week. This will have instructions on the challenges and a few prizes to keep! All the information sent in the mail is also available below for those that prefer electronic format. If you prefer braille, please call or email the Youth Librarian.

On Your Mark, Get Set, READ!

Welcome Letter - Week 1

Pedometer Challenge Instructions

Bingo Reading Challenge

Bingo Reading Book Suggestions

On Your Mark, Get Set, Read! - BTBL Summer Reading ProgramVarious sports equipment and three books in a pile.

Posted 5/3/2016, Updated 5/27/2016

Registration is now open for the BTBL 2016 Summer Reading Program. The theme this year is Wellness, Fitness, Sports. The program runs from July 11- August 19 and is open to patrons 0-18 years old. As always, the program is done completely through the mail so kids all across Michigan can participate. Contact Youth Librarian, Stephanie Wambaugh, at 800-992-9012 or to register today!

Also, please save the date for our first ever Summer Reading Event to be held on Thursday, August 18th, 2016 from 1-3pm in the BTBL lobby. Patrons of all ages are welcomed to bring family and friends to this Sports themed event! More details to follow.

Seedlings Super Spring Giveaway

Posted 5/27/2016

Seedlings Braille Books for Children is offering a Super Spring Giveaway program through June 7! Buy two or more books and get one book - any book of your choice - for free! For details on how to order your free book, go to

VI Sports Day

Posted 5/3/2016

16th Annual Visually Impaired Sports Day will be held on June 11, 2016 at Wealthy Elementary School, 1961 Lake Drive in East Grand Rapids from 8:30 to 2 PM.  To register online, go to For more information, contact Dr. Droste at or call 616-957-0866.

FREE Seedlings Braille Books for Teachers

Posted 4/18/2016

Seedlings Braille Books for Children is offering $100 worth of free books to each of 100 Certified Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments in Michigan thanks to a grant from the Michigan Braille Transcribing Fund!  April 30 is the deadline for all orders. Order online at or call 800-777-8552. Use APR16 as your Purchase Order number and you will not be charged for these free books.

Transitional Age Youth Programs

Posted 4/18/2016

World Services for the Blind continues to expand its services to include young people who are blind or visually impaired. Current programs include College Prep, ACT Prep and the Essential Workplace Skills Series. For more information or to begin the application process, please contact Rebecca Reid, director of recruiting and retention, at or call 800-248-0734.

Paths to Technology

Posted 3/31/2016

Perkins School for the Blind announced the Paths to Technology website designed to assist educators and families in learning and staying current on ever-changing technology for students with visual impairments and blindness. This website has a student page where kids can get involved. Join the conversation by visiting the website!

SENSEsational Alphabet book available through Seedlings!

Posted 3/31/2016

These interactive ABC picture books allow blind and sighted family members to learn the alphabet and beginning words in sign language and uncontracted braille together! The book incorporates visual stimuli, movement, touch, smell and sound. To order a book or check out other promotions through Seedlings, visit their website at

Resources for College Bound Students

Posted 2/9/2016, updated 3/4/2016

Helpful resources for soon-to-be college students:

Americans with Disabilities Act

National Federation of the Blind

Organizations with Scholarship Opportunities:

American Council of the Blind (ACB) 
American Foundation for the Blind 
Learning Ally
Lighthouse Guild
National Federation of the Blind

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