The Amesse Elementary School Ben Carson Reading Room opened on October 18, 2011. Amesse is one of five Denver Reading Rooms, all opening on the same day, thanks to the generosity of The Richard Lumsden Foundation! The rooms are also the first Ben Carson Reading Rooms in the state of Colorado.
Amesse Elementary School was named for one of the former Denver Board of Education members. The walls of the school showcase students’ work as many schools do, but there are also lovely mural landscapes painted on the walls featuring scenes reminiscent of the area – adobe villages, mountains, and flatlands, providing a sense of peace to harried learners! A confluence of cultures is the best way to describe the lovely, unique Ben Carson Reading Room at Amesse. The theme is Southwest, but with the presence of other cultures acutely present. Three teepees fill the room. All four walls are half glass to draw students to the unique learning area, which is situated next to the computer lab in the very center of the school.
Two stuffed ponies and two stuffed burros, each with books in their saddlebags, are just the right size for a young student to sit upon while reading a favorite book! Wooden benches with bookshelves under the seats form a corral around an outdoorsy carpet, complete with a wooden bridge and lily pads.
Above the teepees several sage scrolls are suspended from the ceiling, each with a special encouraging message from persons of note, such as Mother Teresa or Albert Einstein. Silhouettes adorn the teepees, each signifying an encouragement to the students. One is the wily, clever, and smart coyote in black, howling at a yellow crescent moon. He is not only reaching upward toward a higher goal, but is also an illuminator who uses pranks to teach and help people learn from their mistakes.
From African heritage, there is a Ghanaian Sankofa symbol (literally ‘return and fetch it’), which is about rectifying mistakes. Near the top of the central teepee, there is an ancient sun symbol of a Native American people called the Zia. Around the perimeter of the room are tables each with solid color tablecloths. Reading Room Coordinator Janet Damon and her team totally outdid themselves! Thank you so much for inspiring our children to be the best they can be!