Kids love games. Kids love books. The two became an irresistible combination in the Ben Carson Reading Room at Bedford Elementary School. The Ben Carson Reading Room at Bedford Elementary School opened on Friday, February 7, 2014. After careful deliberation, Bedford Elementary students decided on a Candy Land theme. While the students were aware of the theme, the reading room was a carefully guarded secret.
To celebrate the opening of the reading room, the school held an all-school assembly. Principal LaVerne Goins began the ceremony by welcoming the numerous parents and community members in attendance. Representatives from the other Pikesville area schools with reading rooms (Milbrook Elementary, Pikesville Middle and Wellwood International) also attended the ceremony to show their support. Students played an intricate role in the ceremony. First, second, and third grade students shared why reading is important. Fourth and fifth grade students shared Dr. Carson’s THINK BIG philosophy. Guests were also treated to a musical number by the Bedford Elementary School Band. Students heard remarks by Dr. Catherine Allie, Assistant Superintendent of Zone One for Baltimore County Public Schools and Phyllis Friedman representing the room sponsor, Beverly K. and Jerome M. Fine Foundation, Inc.
One of the highlights of the ceremony was the WBES Broadcast. Students videotaped interviews with teachers and administrators and learned all about the Ben Carson Reading Project. The broadcast culminated with a presentation of the development of the reading room from a storage area to a colorful, vibrant reading room. An audible gasp could be heard throughout the multi-purpose room as students got their first look of the reading room featuring the Candy Land theme. After the ceremony, colorful dots on the floor led the guests to the reading room. Mr. and Mrs. Louis Friedman along with Principal Goins had the honor of cutting the ribbon and welcoming guests into the reading room.
Upon entering the reading room, guests were transcended into the magical world of Candy Land. The walls are painted various colors to reflect those of the Candy Land game board. Colorful tiles of red, green, yellow, orange, and purple weave around the circumference of the room. Wall graphics of cupcakes, lollipops and other sugary treats are strategically placed throughout the room. A cut-out of King Kandy can be found as he reigns over the reading room. While the décor of the reading room is sure to entice the students, it is the books that will hold their interest. Over 500 books line the bookshelves. Topics range from cooking to sports and everything in between. Reading is definitely “sweet” at Bedford Elementary.