On Monday, September 22, 2014 Quitman Upper Elementary School became the first school in the state of Mississippi to have a Ben Carson Reading Room. To mark the occasion, the school hosted an all-school assembly. The ceremony began with a warm welcome from Quitman Upper Elementary (QUE) Principal, James Kelly. School Board Member William Price delivered the invocation. Students participated by reading poetry and sharing Dr. Carson’s THINK BIG acronym. After QSD Superintendent Dr. Suzanne Hawley delivered the closing remarks, it was time to unveil the reading room.
The QUE Ben Carson Reading Room is a book lover’s paradise. Upon entering the room, the children’s eyes are immediately drawn to a mural of a beautiful tree with colorful, vibrant leaves. The tree spans the entire wall and intricately painted on the branches are the words making up Dr. Carson’s THINK BIG acronym. Students are able to choose between reading on benches in a custom built hardwood reading loft or relaxing on a sofa or comfortable bean bag chairs.
One of the most unique features of the QUE reading room is how the school creatively displays reading materials. While many books are shelved in conventional bookcases, wide assortments have been placed on long, white rows of vinyl rain gutters. The rain gutters are attached to the wall making it easy for new readers to see the entire book cover and not just the spine.
Quitman Upper Elementary has always focused on providing interesting and innovative ways to help students learn to love reading. With the reading loft, bean bag chairs, colorful art work, and books lining the walls, the reading room will provide an exciting destination for the enjoyment of reading.
Thank you, QSD Imagination Library and The Phil Hardin Foundation, for sponsoring the first Ben Carson Reading Room in Mississippi.