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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2020:01:06 18:16:39

Rylee Potter, left, makes a move in a game of chess against Tala Contreras.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2020:01:06 18:18:12

Fawn Contreras oversees the Teen Chess Club at Valley Community Library.

Kids and Teens from Peckville, Archbald and surrounding areas got to show off their chess skills on Monday evening at the Valley Community Library during a Teen Chess Club night.

The teen-run group for ages 8-18 meets at 5:30 p.m. on the first Monday of each month. The club provides patrons with an opportunity to enhance their critical thinking, problem-solving and social skills.

Fawn Contreras oversees the Teen Chess Club along with many of the other children’s and teen’s events offered by the Valley Community Library.

“It’s a dream job,” said Contreras. “The most rewarding part of this job is seeing the kids happy. I like doing crafts and activities that are engaging for them.”

The chess club is one of several programs hosted by the Valley Community Library. Social events like teen writing, dungeons and dragons, reading to therapy dogs and family movie nights make visiting the library a fun experience for all ages.

“This isn’t just for the kids,” said Contreras. “We encourage the parents to take part in the programs as well. I love hearing the kids’ parents being involved. It’s really nice hearing a parent coach their child during a game of chess on what move to make next. It’s especially helpful on nights when there’s a large group present, when I’m spread too thin. I learn as much from the kids and their parents as when I’m helping them.”

For Valley View students Andrew Gaston and Jon Perez, the Teen Chess Club has become more of a social gathering place to kick back while socializing with friends. The pair have become regular participants at the library over the past four years.

“There’s always something to do here,” said Gaston. “I get to hangout with my friends at the same time, so it’s pretty cool.”

“I usually come here after school to get my work done or hangout with friends,” said Perez. “I’ve also become a lot better at chess.”

Other events

The Valley Community Library will also present Winter Quest, its winter reading incentive program, from Jan. 13 through Feb. 28.

A Teddy bear story time and Teddy bear sleepover will be held on Feb. 22 at the library for families and children of all ages. And a Teddy bear clinic will be presented by Geisinger medical students to teach children about health.

For more information about programs and events, call the library at 570-489-1765 or visit lclshome.org/b/valley-community-library.