So back in October I held an anime program called read it, watch it, draw it, and we did exactly those thee things. I had three girls in attendance. That was suppose to be the end of the program. I never had any intentions of continuing, but the three girls that I had continued to ask so I figured what the heck. I was so nervous about creating this new club, and I had just been offered the position that I'm in now so I was terrified of what I'd do if I had low or no attendance. I decided that even though I really wanted anime club to be a teen program, I'd take whoever would show up, so I'd have good numbers.
Fast forward from October to now, and at the last anime club there were like sixteen kids. It was out of control. I was trying to do candy sushi, but there were some parents who were annoyed because they thought that the kids were going to be drawing. The older kids were annoyed by the younger kids, and it just wasn't my best night ever. I decided that the only way to fix this was to go back to my original plan and make anime club 14 and up. There are so many activities that the older kids in the club want to do (like anime jeopardy, and anime charades, and cosplay) but we can't because the younger kids wouldn't be able to participate. The younger kid sin my group (between the ages of 9 and 12) see the anime drawings that I have posted around the room and they also like to draw and watch cartoons so it seems like anime club is the perfect place for them to be, or they've decided that they really love Pokemon so they should join anime club (apparently Pokemon is taboo now, who knew).
The issue that I've run into is that, with summer there are going to be more kids who want to attend programs and be at the library. If I restrict the age of Anime Club to 14 and up, then I have kids from ages 9 to 13 who now need something to do, and I have no idea what that something should be. I guess I could do like an anime junior, and they could watch tv and draw (which bored my older hard core anime loves to death), or I could do some times of drawing club because they all seem to love that. I don't know what I'm going to do yet.
However I have learned the importance to choosing appropriate ages for programs, it's a bigger deal than I realized. I initially assumed that if everyone wanted to be there, then it would be okay, but I was wrong. Within the perimeters of the program everyone has to be on the same mental level or you'll always have kids who are "too advanced" to be there or "not at the level of others" and someone will always feel left out which is my worst fear.
At the end of the day this is almost a good problem to have. I have more kids attending a program than I can handle, now I just have to make sure I can find things for them to do that is mentally stimulating and fun for everyone.