For Freestyle students, making books is child's play
After several months of writing and designing their own children's books, local high school students read their tales of outer space and far away adventures to a dozen preschoolers this week.
The students attend Freestyle Academy of Communication Arts and Technology, a multimedia program in the Mountain View Los Altos Union School District, where they all take design and English classes, and choose between film and Web design. Students experiment with different types of writing in their English class, and then use the technology available on campus to make a visual or audio component of their written work.
Each of the four junior classes at Freestyle wrote and made books, which looked as if they had been produced professionally.
Four students presented the final products on Tuesday, May 27 to preschoolers at Mountain View Parent Nursery School, which is also located behind the district office. The nursery school is part of the district, and parents must enroll in MVLA Adult School before their students can attend. Parents work in the class and help run the program.
The preschool students giggled and jumped up and down as the Freestyle juniors read their books about marine life, traveling balloons, magical play structures and outer space.
"This is a very rewarding process," said junior James Glass after the reading.
Each year, the Freestyle students complete a longer narrative project, and last year they made graphic pages. The students said making the books was busy, especially while they were making films and completing other Freestyle projects.
"We wanted to make the books applicable to younger kids," said junior Alyssa Young.
The Parent Nursery School, which was just reaccredited, often invites local high school students to volunteer and participate in the classroom, according to director Claire Koukoutsakis. •
E-mail Casey Weiss at firstname.lastname@example.org