“Reading is knowledge and knowledge is power.” That was the message conveyed to students attending the opening ceremony of the Ben Carson Reading Room at Tyler Heights Elementary School on Tuesday, December 17, 2013. While this is not the first reading room to be located in Anne Arundel County Public Schools, it is the first reading room to be located in the city of Annapolis, Maryland and the first to be sponsored by NewDay USA.
The ceremony commenced with a warm welcome from principal Karen Walkinshaw. Next admiral Thomas Lynch, co-chairman of the NewDay USA Foundation challenged the students to learn as much as they could and commented on how their school’s Ben Carson Reading Room would open new worlds. Following the admiral, a fourth grade student shared Dreams, a poem by Langston Hughes. Michael Shriver president of NewDay Foundation was next on the agenda. He expounded on how “reading is knowledge and knowledge is power.” To emphasize his point and to get students excited about learning, Michael had the students repeat the phrase multiple times. Next fifth grade students entertained guests with a poetry reading of Book Lice from Poems for Two Voices. CSF executive director, Amy Warner spoke on behalf of the organization. She shared why books and reading are so important. Although Dr. Carson was unable to attend the opening, he prepared a special greeting for the students and staff. Dr. Carson shared his early educational experiences with the students and encouraged them to THINK BIG. Former state coordinator of English/language art, Bonnie Schmeltz concluded the program with a special reading of Oh, the Places You Will Go.
After the ceremony, guests were ushered down the hallway to witness the ribbon cutting. NewDay USA representative Walter Rolph and a few students received the honor of cutting the ribbon. Once the ribbon was cut, guests and students had the opportunity to tour the reading room. The Tyler Heights Elementary reading room features a large mural inspiring children to THINK BIG and travel on the road to college. The reading room has over 500 books and it didn’t take long for the students to find a book that interested them. Students immediately took of their shoes and found a comfortable place to sit and began reading.
Thank you NewDay USA for sponsoring the Ben Carson Reading Room at Tyler Heights Elementary School!