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Buena Vista Becomes a Living Library at Recess

In this innovative program, volunteers becoming "Living Books" to get students excited about various topics.

students are checking out topics from Fiji to frog-shaped food by literally checking out actual people through the school’s innovative Living Library program. Coordinated by fifth-grade teacher Syndi Lyon, the Living Library uses actual library cards showcasing volunteers that students check out as they choose the Living Book person and topic to enthrall them during recess.

At a recent session, one group of kids took ghoulish delight as Jason DeRosa explained how to make creepy after-school snacks while another enjoyed Leslie Laurei’s virtual cruise describing life at sea and yet another learned how to preserve cherished memories by scrapbooking like Kim Henkel. Fifth-grader Monica opined, “I could make pictures of my whole family to put in my scrapbook!”

Disneyland, horses and surfing in exotic locales were explored by other students, all of whom were disappointed when their session ended. They had so much more to learn! “We’ll see you next time,” said the enthusiastic Living Books, who prepared to open exciting chapters for the next group of students.

According to Buena Vista Principal Tina Howard, the project reverberates far beyond the individual journeys of discovery. She says, “Students who interact with our Living Books realize that they have their own stories and can become Living Books for others to enjoy. The project helps them become more prepared for the world in which they are growing.”

The program was created in partnership with Aviara Four Seasons Residency Inn, which has adopted Buena Vista. In addition to the Living Library, Aviara volunteers help their adopted school in several ways. They have volunteered in the site garden and the art room and have donated funds to provide 50th anniversary t-shirts to all BV students.

– Press Release

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