A Living Library Seen Through The Eyes of Children From Canadian International School of Milan, Italy

Bonnie Ora with a student from Canadian International School of Milan

On a bright and sunny October morning (October 09, 2017) in Milan, Italy, a group of enthusiastic students from the Canadian International School of Milan gathered to participate in a Workshop on A Living Library with Bonnie Ora Sherk. This Workshop, and two others with different classes of students that morning, was organized by Afterschool Italy, a learning program helping children to speak and communicate in English, through various teaching approaches and art activities. 

Bonnie Ora interacting with her lively young audience from the Canadian International School of Milan

Bonnie Ora interacting with her lively young audience from the Canadian International School of Milan, Image Credit: Afterschool Italy

Bonnie Ora discussed with them the meaning of A Living Library, asking them what they thought would be in A Living Library.

Bonnie Ora discussed with them the meaning of A Living Library, asking them what they thought would be in A Living Library. Image Credit: Afterschool Italy

Bonnie Ora interacted with her lively young audience and discussed with them the meaning of A Living Library, asking them what they thought would be in A Living Library. During their talking together the children in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades, also made their own beautiful drawings showing their ideas of A Living Library with images and words.  She asked the students to create their own artwork, interpreting the meaning of A Living Library. The students eagerly displayed their imagination and creativity through crayons and white paper, and defined A.L.L. in vibrant and colorful ways.

Students made their own beautiful drawings, showing their ideas of A Living Library with images and words.

Students made their own beautiful drawings, showing their ideas of A Living Library with images and words. Image Credit: Afterschool Italy

A student's interpretation of A Living Library

A student’s interpretation of A Living Library

The students eagerly displayed their imagination and creativity through crayons and white paper.

The students eagerly displayed their imagination and creativity through crayons and white paper.

Together, they discussed that young people, guided by caring adults, could build a more ecological and healthy environment around their schools, neighborhoods, and communities

Together, they discussed that young people, guided by caring adults, could build a more ecological and healthy environment around their schools, neighborhoods, and communities.

While drawing, they discussed the metaphor of A Living Library that Everyone and Everything on Earth and in Space — People, Birds, Trees, Air, Water, and all the things we Create such as Parks, Gardens, Schools, Libraries, Artworks, Networks, and Communities — are a part of A Living Library of diversity. They learned that A.L.L., for short, offers a way to understand that Culture and Technology are part of Nature.  It is all Nature.

Bonnie Ora She asked the children if they thought A Living Library made sense and was a good idea, and they said, Yes, it seemed to be a good idea.

Bonnie Ora Sherk asked the children if they thought A Living Library made sense and was a good idea, and they said, Yes, it seemed to be a good idea. Image Credit: Canadian International School of Milan

She asked the children if they thought A Living Library made sense and was a good idea, and they said, Yes, it seemed to be a good idea. Together, they discussed that young people, guided by caring adults, could build a more ecological and healthy environment around their schools, neighborhoods, and communities. Bonnie Ora further discussed the importance of an interdisciplinary and ecologically sensitive approach towards community development and transformation to help address the issues of climate change, pollution, water quality, flood mitigation, and other urban issues.

The artworks of children displayed at the Carte Scoperte Art Gallery

That evening, their drawings were displayed in Carte Scoperte Art Gallery in Milan and were hung near the other gallery artworks. And, Bonnie Ora Sherk gave a Public Talk about A Living Library to Milanese adults with a few children from the school, who had participated in the morning, attending with their parents.

Following are some of the beautiful images captured at the A.L.L. Workshop and installed in the Carte Scoperte Art Gallery:

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