Theme: “It’s a jungle out there! So let’s read!”
Three reading rooms opened all on one day near Oak Lawn, Illinois, in the Oak Lawn-Hometown School District.
After meandering through the library, you are drawn into the delightful section that has been reworked to become the Covington Elementary Ben Carson Reading Room. The first thing you notice is the mural on the back wall, centered with the literary favorite ‘Great Kapok tree’ fronted by a huge, realistic gorilla on one side and an open-mouthed smiling crocodile half out of the water on the other. A colorful macaw soars away from the tree toward a tall waterfall, while a toucan with a couple of his tropical bird friends watches from their perches on the branches. Since the school mascot is the Covington cougar, there is one painted in the upper left corner of the mural…a sentinel to ensure the peace and welfare of all.
The room is packed with kid-themed eye-candy. The 50” tall book shelves that make up the border on one side have 6” high wood block letters painted with twining green ivy on tropical yellow, orange and green backgrounds standing in creative formation on top, while on the shelves the colorful book bins with square fronts in the same tropical colors have clear circle centers for students to get a quick peek at a glance of exciting titles inside.
The seating is so inviting and comfortable, that the organizers have a raffle-type drawing system. As students enter the room, they draw their seat selection from a small bucket. The catcher’s mitt chair in primary colors is a favorite of the guys, but the hanging royal blue wicker chair is a fave for all! Camouflage green camping seats, a padded bench under the Kapok tree and blue stuffed arm chairs and bean bag chairs cozily placed around Tarzan-esque rattan rugs are perfect for exploring new worlds through the pages of a book! In the corner on the shelves by the windows are the charging stations full of e-readers for the students to access several hundred more adventures!