Susan B. Anthony Elementary is a part of the Sacramento Unified School District. The principal challenge for this school is the fact that the student population is 80% Hmong, a migratory tribe from China whose culture is quickly being lost. So this school is a dual immersion school, teaching reading and speaking in two languages. For more information about this fascinating group go to: http://www.hmongculture.net/hmong-people
The new reading room at Susan B. Anthony Elementary is the first in the history of the Ben Carson Reading Room Program to have a sports theme and like most sports enthusiasts, they went “all out!’ They even have a full-sized soccer goal in the 20 by 40-foot room, with the words, “We Make the Goal,” emblazoned on a yellow banner encouraging visitors to the room! In the soccer goal are at least 10 pillows designed like soccer balls and basketballs. The two bean bag chairs on either side of a long aluminum locker room bench are a football and a baseball. Above those are football play strategies outlined with white chalk on twin black boards!
Central to the room is an 8-foot-square baseball diamond rug surrounded with brightly colored sling-back chairs opposite sporty cubic ottomans. There are comfortable square-like, cobalt blue sofas mirroring each other on opposite sides. Red “spider” tables that can double as seats are at the corners rounding out the grouping. Between that grouping and the bank of bookcases along the entry wall, is another smaller seated area designed for coaches. Four folding slatted chairs in black or red are focused on a red square modular table, perfect for quiet discussion of sport strategies, or sharing interests in a particular book! Reading can be a team effort!
Books of all shapes, sizes and genres share the white bookcases with sports paraphernalia, such as various sports balls, catcher’s mitts, padded gear and megaphones. The walls shout “sports,” because in addition to the traditional Ben Carson Reading Room posters, there are mounted racquets, racquet covers and shuttlecocks, as well as posters of X-treme skating and a cheerleader jumping with pompoms! The organizer’s purpose is to capture the imaginations of students who normally are more involved in sports than academics while sparking their reading interests. Even the blue canvas crates on top of the lower bookcases have sports-themed fabric to draw the students in. They are lined with a gridiron tape along the bottom, alternating basketball hoops with soccer balls and footballs along the top edge. In the middle, basketballs and baseballs in white were contrasted against orange-silhouetted sportsmen in action! And there’s a piñata on the top shelf for those who like to think about practicing their swing!
A special thank you to the Richard Lumsden Foundation for sponsoring the room.