Many MSTA members love to think outside the box and dream up exciting ways to engage their students in learning. Horace Mann Elementary School librarian Kellie Eichler hosted a unique event for the school’s third and fourth-grade students during Parent-Teacher conferences in March. The Literary Food Truck Festival provided a fun, project-based learning experience for students which allowed them to apply their literary analysis skills in a practical and creative way. Students read Caldecott Award-winning books and designed a food truck based on a character or theme from their chosen book. They worked collaboratively in groups, brainstorming ideas and using their understanding of setting, plot, characters, conflict and theme to create their trucks. This required critical thinking, creativity and application of concepts they learned from the book. The students spent several weeks working on their projects, coming up with names for their trucks, creating menu items and designing the interior and exterior. Finished projects were presented to their classmates, showcasing their literary analysis skills. The Literary Food Truck Festival was not only a fun and engaging experience for the students, but it also provided a platform for them to highlight their creative and critical thinking abilities. The event encouraged students to read more, connect with literature and apply learning while having fun. Eichler stated that the most impactful outcome of the event was seeing the students’ sense of accomplishment when they decorated the library and displayed their work for their parents during conferences. They took pride in their projects and were able to articulate their understanding of the book and the life lessons it taught. As a special treat for their participation in the quarter-long project, she arranged for a real food truck, El Espolon Catering, to park outside the school. The students were able to enjoy tacos, which added an extra element of excitement to the event. “Authentically living our school mission statement Loving Students, Engaging Learning, Growing Community, Horace Mann is important to me,” Eichler stated. “I always want to advocate the importance of libraries and for the city of Sedalia to know our students are brilliant authors and artists.”