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Library prepares to lock up group of willing teenagers

The River Falls Public Library holds its first-ever Teen Lock In Thursday, Feb. 16 from 8 p.m.-midnight.

Youths in 7th-10th grades can attend the free event that kicks off the start of a four-day weekend since there's no school the following Friday or Monday.

Teens can choose from various activities during their stay: Police officers will conduct classes on drug prevention and self defense; volunteers will teach young people how to do yoga, henna body art and beading/jewelry making; locked-in teens can also get involved in a chess tournament, play Risk or other board games, sing along with karaoke or play Dance-Dance Revolution (DDR).

In DDR, players follow dance steps on a giant pad while music plays. Teenagers can also enjoy food and prizes throughout the night.

Library director Nancy Miller will help chaperone the event, along with six other library staff members plus the people who will teach the classes.

"We'll try this one and maybe do others if it works well," Miller said.

She said at least 20 people need to register in order to hold the event. Miller adds that parents will need to come inside the library to pick up their son or daughter. Kids won't be allowed to just run outside.

In order to attend the lock in, teens must register at the library and turn in signed permission slips before it closes Monday, Feb. 13.

Funds for the lock in come from the library and from a federally funded grant obtained through the River Falls Partnership for youth, an organization that works to prevent smoking and drug abuse among young people.