About the Special You Program

The SPECIAL YOU READING CLUB is an Intergenerational Enhancement Program (ILEP).

Instead of taking the traditional problem-based approach (looking for what is wrong), the ILEP evaluations and related research have indicators leading to a larger approach to literacy development in children. This approach, through focused interactions, one-to-one with an adult, who is not instructing but rather, participating with the child, demonstrate the sharing of personal joy for reading and the delightful discovery of self through words and pictures.

ILEP is designed to address the problems associated with third grade transition from learning to read through the senses to objectively reading for information. This literacy enhancement program model positively impacts student perceptions of themselves and their reading experience. It provides an intergenerational experience for both seniors and child.

This fall, we will again replicate The Special You Reading Club, an Intergenerational Literacy Enhancement Program, which is a 10-week effort. The results will be The ILEP Training Manual for community replication and dissemination. The ILEP, or as the children call it, The “Special You” Reading Club, is designed to assist second grade students to develop and enhance their literacy skills and gain self confidence and self knowledge by participating in a successful reading, writing and drawing experience using a focused mentoring/tutoring process. Twenty Mentor/tutors will be recruited from the community, which now includes The Laguna Beach Woman’s Club (WC) and The American Association of University Women (AAUW) Laguna Beach Branch. Second grade students from the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach will be invited to attend a one hour, once a week on Wednesday afternoon mentoring/tutoring session. Beginning in January and ending in March, each child will be paired with their own volunteer mentor.

The trilingual book “You Are a Very Special You,” written in English, Spanish and Chinese and illustrated by Elsa Brizzi, is used as the text for the project. The children, using their reading experience and self knowledge, will be learning to be “Authors and Illustrators” and storytellers by creating and illustrating their own book of storytelling about their "specialness."

The second grade children, working with their personal mentor/tutor, are assisted by American Association of University Women (AAUW) reading consultants and Laguna Outreach for Community Arts (LOCA) artists who will help them illustrate their written descriptions.

The 10 week project will culminate with a special presentation “Authors and Illustrators,” April 2nd at the Laguna Beach Library, 11am to 12 noon for collaborative organizations, families and friends to view and hear the children read, share their books about” their specialness” and to showcase and view their webpage.



The Intergenerational Literacy Project is a project of The Laguna Beach Woman’s Club, developed and managed by Elsa Brizzi.

The project includes the collaboration and participation of the following local organizations:

The project is funded and supported by contributions from participating organizations.


Contact Elsa Brizzi
for More Information

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