On Wednesday, October 27, 2010 Mary Ann Winterling Elementary was buzzing with excitement! A wonderfully executed program by students of Mary Ann Winterling prefaced the opening of their new Ben Carson Reading Room. Bailey McCollough and Tyreek Richardson opened the program with a warm introduction of Assistant Principal Gary Argiro who welcomed everyone.
Formerly Bentalou Elementary School, the school was renamed after long-term principal Mary Ann Winterling, who made a significant impact on the school and community during her time there. Principal Winterling would have loved seeing the children read in the Ben Carson Reading Room. Therefore, the grand opening celebration took on a special meaning for Principal Winterling’s sister, Leah Bark, and her husband, Roland.
This is the seventh Bank of America sponsored Reading Room, and faithful ambassador Brooke Hodges was on hand in support of the students and to share her august remarks. A unique presentation of Dr. Carson’s acrostic “THINK BIG” was delivered by several third grade students. Comments on the importance of reading were presented by school partner and BG&E representative, Angela Byrd.
Morgan State University student Stanley Hammett, who won a Carson Scholarship a few years ago while a student at Mary Ann Winterling was next on the program and spoke on his experience as a scholar. Mary Ann Winterling Elementary not only has the distinction of having seven students recognized by the Carson Scholars Fund, but 37-year-career teacher Minerva Eaton taught every single one of them! Dr. Carson joined the program in a video presentation, where he charged the students to take full advantage of the Reading Room, and Principal Nikia Carter closed out the program.
The theme of the room is the “Big Top,” and a circus mural covers almost the entire right wall in keeping with that theme. As you enter the room, above you is a canopy of bright red, blue, and yellow stripes radiating from a yellow center, complete with scalloped fringe. This unique objet d’art was discovered during a general clean out of the space and inspired the theme. The primary colors are echoed throughout the room with canary yellow walls, royal blue bookcases straddling the corners diagonally, and scarlet red cornices at the windows. Perched amongst the books are red and white striped popcorn containers for a festive feel. The various multi-colored scatter rugs in bright designs delineate cozy sitting areas with bright, plush, comfy bean bag chairs and thick-pillowed sofas!
A special thanks to Bank of America for sponsoring this Ben Carson Reading Room!