Summer Adventure 2017: Create Kindness–Help Someone

Our 2017 Summer Adventure will start on June 1. Earn points by helping out someone in your everyday life. Wash the dishes, care for a pet, mow your neighbor’s lawn, care for the environment or volunteer in your community!

Become a Teen Volunteer @ the Library 

Teen Summer VolunteerDo you need volunteering hours for middle school or high school? Have you always wanted to work at a library? Or maybe you’re just looking for a fun way to give back. Either way, we’re looking for teens like you who are eager to help us out!

Help prepare crafts and materials for programs, organize and/or clean program supplies, photocopy, cut paper and more.

Volunteering takes place in the Vortex on Saturdays, June 3 & 17, July 8 & 22 and August 5 & 19 from 3–5 p.m. Space is limited to six volunteers per session.

Visit our online calendar to register. Registration opens two weeks before each volunteering session. All volunteers must be grades 6–12.

We will also hold two special sessions of volunteering on Sunday, July 23 from noon–2 p.m. for the Craft Exchange and on Monday, July 31 from 5–8 p.m. for the Ice Cream Social.

Questions? Call 630.685.4199 or send an email to

You can also find volunteer opportunities in your community. Perform your own random acts of kindness.
Volunteer at Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital
Kindness Ideas

Randi C.

How to Make Your Own Cross Stitch Patterns

Do you love needlecrafting but were looking for an easy way on the computer (besides Microsoft Excel which still needs tinkering to get right…) to make your own patterns?

Look no more!

KG Chart is an application that allows you to easily create your own cross stitch patterns. It has all the official DMC colors preloaded onto it for easy color picking and pattern creating!


Cnet offers the free version of KG Chart for download!

Try it out today! Create to your hearts’ desires, my crafters!

For some pre-made patterns, check out our collection of cross stitch books!

Im-Paws-ibly Cute!

Is your furry, feathery or scaly friend simply the cutest animal EVER?!? Prove it! Enter a photograph of your pet(s) into the Vortex’s first-ever “Im-paws-ibly Cute Pet Photo Contest!” You and your pet could win a $25 gift card!

You can drop off printed photos at the Vortex desk or send your photo as a .jpg, .pdf, .png, or .bmp file to

  • All entries must be received between Sunday, April 30 at noon and Saturday, May 13 at 6 p.m.
  • Photos must be of your pet ONLY – please no humans in the picture.
  • Be aware; photos may be shared online and/or on display in the Vortex.
  • This contest is for teens in grades 6 – 12 only.



More Adulting 101!

Summer will be here before you know it. What are you planning to do over Summer Break?

Bum around at home?  

bum tv

Bum around at the park?

bum at park

Bum around at the library?

bum library

How about learn new skills, gain experience that looks good on college applications and GET PAID?

get paid

Come find out how to get a summer job at Fountaindale’s teen employment seminar, Adulting 101: How to Get a Job on Thursday, May 4 from 6:30–8 p.m. Local career and employment expert, Bob Schlacks, will give you tips on how to fill out an application and what to do before, during and after an interview.

If you want to get a job this summer, you’ve got to check out this workshop first!

Register now!



Asian American Author Spotlight

As April is National Asian American and Pacific Island Heritage Month, I’d like to take this opportunity to highlight a couple Asian American authors!

17261194Boxers & Saints 

Both by Gene Luen Yang

n two volumes, Boxers & Saints tells two parallel stories. The first is of Little Bao, a Chinese peasant boy whose village is abused and plundered by Westerners claiming the role of missionaries. Little Bao, inspired by visions of the Chinese gods, joins a violent uprising against the Western interlopers. Against all odds, their grass-roots rebellion is successful.

But in the second volume, Yang lays out the opposite side of the conflict. A girl whose village has no place for her is taken in by Christian missionaries and finds, for the first time, a home with them. As the Boxer Rebellion gains momentum, Vibiana must decide whether to abandon her Christian friends or to commit herself fully to Christianity.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

By Jenny Han

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

Something in BetweenSomething in Between

By Melissa de la Cruz

Jasmine de los Santos has always done what’s expected of her. Pretty and popular, she’s studied hard, made her Filipino immigrant parents proud and is ready to reap the rewards in the form of a full college scholarship.

And then everything shatters. A national scholar award invitation compels her parents to reveal the truth: their visas expired years ago. Her entire family is illegal. That means no scholarships, maybe no college at all and the very real threat of deportation.

For the first time, Jasmine rebels, trying all those teen things she never had time for in the past. Even as she’s trying to make sense of her new world, it’s turned upside down by Royce Blakely, the charming son of a high-ranking congressman. Jasmine no longer has any idea where—or if—she fits into the American Dream. All she knows is that she’s not giving up. Because when the rules you lived by no longer apply, the only thing to do is make up your own.

Born ConfusedBorn Confused

By Tanuja Desai Hidier

Dimple Lala doesn’t know what to think. Her parents are from India, and she’s spent her whole life resisting their traditions. Then suddenly she gets to high school and everything Indian is trendy. To make matters worse, her parents arrange for her to meet a “suitable boy.” Of course it doesn’t go well — until Dimple goes to a club and finds him spinning a magical web . Suddenly the suitable boy is suitable because of his sheer unsuitability. Complications ensue. This is a funny, thoughtful story about finding your heart, finding your culture, and finding your place in America.

Outrun the MoonOutrun the Moon

By Stacey Lee

San Francisco, 1906: Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty in Chinatown, and an education at St. Clare’s School for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare’s is off-limits to all but the wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance through a mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Not to be undone by a bunch of spoiled heiresses, Mercy stands strong – until disaster strikes.

On April 18, a historic earthquake rocks San Francisco, destroying Mercy’s home and school. With martial law in effect, she is forced to wait with her classmates for their families in a temporary park encampment. Though fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, Mercy can’t sit by while they wait for the army to bring help—she still has the “bossy” cheeks that mark her as someone who gets things done. But what can one teenage girl do to heal so many suffering in her broken city?

**summaries and book cover images courtesy of