John Still Elementary School

Sacramento, CA

safari muralImagine everything you could wish for in a mural! Math Resource Teacher, Bob Batten, spent countless hours during assemblies, free periods, after school and on weekends to make the bulk of the mural and the results were phenomenal! Others who assisted included various staff, teachers and a local Girl Scout Troop. His idea of drawing the students’ attention with people, artifacts and animals to illustrate a particular subject matter and organizing the books accordingly really paid off! Below the fantasy mural section of the room were books of that genre. In the history section of the room the wall was painted with patriots and other historical figures overseeing the books in bins below. Football players in action on the field run over shelves of books in the sports section! A segment of wall between the cabinets and the counter displayed local varieties of fish swimming by and below were books about fishing.

sponsor with staff

The usual comfy bean bag chairs found in these rooms were overshadowed by their huge big brother bean bag sofas in soft, burgundy velour! However, the sofas were not filled with beans; they were stuffed with foam chunks that were soft and cozy! And there were two of them! Some of the normal sized bean bag seats were in special designs such as a pear and sports balls! Colorful, stuffed cubic ottomans, Adirondack chairs and other wooden seats rounded out the choices for relaxing to discover your adventures!

patriot mural

The mural also revealed smaller, internationally-historical geographic sites amongst the genre paintings for children who might be interested in a scavenger hunt! The geographic sites included the Eiffel Tower, Easter Island statues, the Golden Gate Bridge, Big Ben of London, and more! A kid can travel the world via scavenger hunt! Mr. Batten’s sense of humor comes to light in the mural as well, for in the fantasy section there’s a lion reading the book, Chronicles of Narnia, and a giraffe reading Giraffes Can’t Dance, as well as a wart hog trying to discover how to get rid of warts! The painting of Dr. Carson has him reading Neurosurgery for Geniuses!


student readingThe room is filled with books in blue bins with covers begging you to check them out. Brightly colored rugs, one with each letter of the alphabet on the cover of a book, are laid out around the room. Next to a castle, the corner tree-house that goes from the floor to the ceiling takes the viewer’s imagination soaring! When the mural tells you “Let’s Go on a Reading Safari,” no one can refuse!!

Special thanks to Richard Lumsden Foundation for sponsoring the reading room.


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