Teen Talk: School is Out, Let the Learning Begin
Sunday, June 26, 2016


 Alana Brunson is glad school is out but she is still looking forward to the learning opportunities that summer programming offers.

Courtesy photo
By Alana Brunson 
When we got the information I had already missed the opportunity to be a part of the cast. But they asked if I would like to be a part of the behind the scenes crew. I said yes.  I was happy to learn more about the crew jobs.  Besides they would teach me how to sew and that was another interest of mine. So I thought why not. When we went they gave me a tour and I got to see a lot of amazing things. Like the lights and props and the types of things that are used to make props. They have classes that will teach you how to do lighting, sound and how to build props and costumes for the show. I also got to meet the cast and actually got a small role that would be in the play it was an amazing experience. 
There are all types of things to try around Lansing. Maybe you like fishing that's another thing I would like to try. My grandpa and grandma go all the time, they say they are good fishers. They said they would take me with them this summer. So If you want to try something new ask a family member or friend if they know anything about it and they may be able to help you.
 Another thing you can do this summer is start saving money or looking for a summer job. I am saving for a hoverboard. You can save up for anything you want if you put your mind to it. Then you can buy your own things. Plus saving money shows people you're responsible and mature. You don't have to be 18 to have a job. You can do things for neighbors or even for Mom or friends and family. I am doing a job for my neighbors. They asked me to pick up their mail and water their plants while they are out of town for a while. There is a lot of other things you can do to make money. Like selling lemonade, a garage sale, or even mowing lawns. You may even be able to sell things online with help from a parent. 
Northwest Initiative downtown is hosting free classes for teens to learn how to start their own business the right way. I challenge you to try all sorts of things this summer. 
If you cannot find a job volunteering is also another option. Places like the YMCA, Lansing parks, your local church or community center.  While you do not get paid for volunteering, it is a great way to experience things that you may have not been able to afford. Like concerts, games, or even services for the community.
When I was looking for things to do this summer I found a few more things around Lansing you may be interested in. All the libraries have summer reading programs that you could earn prizes for just reading a little each day. If you like art you can try the  Reach Art Studio in Reo Town. We seen online they have reduced price and even free classes for people who qualify. If you are babysitting or have family in town maybe you could take them to the dollar movie days at the Lansing Mall Cinema. 
Old Town is also having free outdoor movie nights this summer. You can look online to find the details. 
Spare Time is having kids bowl free days as well. You could have 2 free games of bowling if you register on their website. I'm actually excited to try Spare Time’s teen night this summer they have a really great deal that includes bowling laser tag and go karts and the arcade. So I'm sure I'll be using some of the money I earn to convince my parents to take me there. 
Or just lay outside on a blanket out in the sun and write or read.
So overall there is so much to do this summer if you are traveling out of town or staying in town. Challenge yourself to step away from your phone a couple hours and have fun and do something you like.
Alana Brunson is 13-years-old and she is homeschooled.  
This column was printed in the June 26, 2016 - July 9, 2016 edition.

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