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Special Events


Is music a form of communication? Absolutely! Join Dr. Karen Zumbrunn and friends as her talented jazz trio introduces tempo, phrases, and changes. They'll intersperse their presentation with illustrative jazz pieces. Afterwards, we’ll invite you to ask plenty of questions and meet the instruments!

Saturday, October 3
2:00pm - 3:00pm
Registration required (see below)
Free of charge
Ages 4 & up

Registration begins Monday, September 14. Please e-mail and specify the number of adults and children attending.



Shameless page turners! Join Cotsen Critix, a group of young individuals who enjoy reading, writing, and partaking in creative literary activities. In the past, we’ve met cartoonists, queried authors, written works of science fiction, learned characterization techniques from an actor, crafted poetry, swashbuckled, and more!

Every other Friday
4:00pm – 5:30pm (October-May)
Enrollment required (see below)
Free of charge
Ages 9-12

Submission of application does not guarantee enrollment. Enrollment is for one year only, and then the program re-opens to another set of kids. 

To apply, you must:
1) Write a 125-word book review
2) Complete the application form found here
3) Using a blue pen, write your favorite onomatopoetic word on a post-it note that has been folded into a triangle.

You MUST include all 3 parts of your application in order to be considered!

Applications must be received by MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 at 4:00pm. Remember to mail them a few days ahead of the deadline so they arrive in time.


Sponsored by the Office of Community & Regional Affairs

It's celebration of sports, entertainment, and community! There will be activities for all ages, including a "Family Fun-Fest"  (3:30pm - 6:30pm) and a sports clinic hosted by Princeton University student-athletes for children ages 5-12 (3:30pm - 4:30 pm). The Princeton University vs. Lehigh football game kicks off at 5:00pm and is followed by a fabulous fireworks display. Cotsen will have a table at the event...we'll see you there!

Saturday, September 26
All activities are free of charge
Click here for more information

For more information contact Erin Metro at (609) 258-5144 or
To reserve FREE  football tickets click here (free ticket offer ends September 24)
Please note there will be a $10 parking fee per car.


Want some constructive feedback on your writing? Try First Draft, our writing resource for authors-to-be. Simply submit your creative writing and personal essays via e-mail, and Princeton University student editors will offer their comments and suggestions.

For more information and submission guidelines, click here
Submission required
Free of charge
Ages 13-17


This November our guest will be S.E. Hinton, author of The Outsiders, That Was Then, This is Now, Tex, Rumble Fish, and Taming the Star Runner.

In 1967, a new voice entered the world of children’s publishing. It was the tough, unfiltered, empathetic, and frank voice of Ponyboy Curtis, the main character in Hinton’s ground-breaking and genre-creating novel, The Outsiders.

Fourteen-year-old Ponyboy lives with his big brothers, Sodapop and Darry. They are orphans, and Darry has set aside his dreams of college in order to shoulder the responsibilities of providing for his younger brothers. Ponyboy and his brothers are greasers. They grow their hair long, wear leather jackets, drive old souped-up cars, and rove in gangs. They also clash – often very violently - with the Socs, the upper-class teens from the West-side who seem to have it all. When the violence results in a death, Ponyboy and his friend, Johnny, must go on the run or face the judgement of a system that is already stacked against them.

Hinton’s characters navigate confusing, turbulent, bleak, intense, and often unfair worlds that were previously unheard of in children’s literature. The raw truths of Hinton’s novels ushered in a new category of children’s literature – Young Adult fiction. In 1988, she was the recipient of the American Library Association’s first annual Margaret A. Edwards Award, an award that honors authors whose books “have been accepted by young adults as an authentic voice that continues to illuminate their experiences and emotions, giving insight into their lives.”

It’s important to add that while gritty, Hinton’s books also carry with them messages of understanding, acceptance, choice, family, forgiveness, strength, and hope. They are both heartbreaking and illuminating, desolate and thought-provoking, frightening and beautiful.

In addition to her YA books, Hinton also has a chapter book for younger readers called The Puppy Sister, and a picture book called Big David, Little David.

Saturday, November 7
Interview premieres here
All ages