In Chapter News, General, Newsletter, Reading Rooms on 01/17/2024 - 2:54 PM

Seminole Trails Elementary Reading Room Opening

Each reading room is very special in its own way!  And Seminole Trails Elementary has several special statistics about its Think Big Reading Room to celebrate!

Seminole Trails Elementary Reading Room 

  • the 33rd reading room built in Palm Beach County
  • the 40th reading room built in the state of Florida
  • the 17th reading room opened in 2023 across the country during that year
  • the last reading room established in 2023

And it also has the distinction of being the 280th reading room established in the entire history of the Carson Scholars Fund!!

During the schoolwide assembly prior to the reading room opening, the excitement was almost tangible, as the level of dedication with which each student group performed was quite impressive!  And the enthusiasm in the administrators’ and organizers’ remarks were exceptional as well, as they shared perspectives on the process in establishing the new room designed to broaden the students’ horizons and development!

The Room

With a school having the name “Seminole Trails”, what better or more appropriate theme for the room than……”hiking trails”!!   When an educator at this school tells a student to “take a hike”, the traditionally negative connotations morph into extremely positive encouragement for the student to  make progress on a “path to success” …. a path that the student has the opportunity to choose for him or herself!!

The students’ initial reaction to the room was incredible!  The unbridled enthusiasm of some of the kids was an amazing sight to behold!!

As you enter the room, you see curvy dark wood bookshelves that simulate trees, and are indeed “trees of knowledge,” since they hold the primary sources of knowledge: books!

On the left, almost an entire wall is covered with tree leaves!!  The wall is like a dense forest, stuffed with more trees of knowledge, which offer even more opportunities for kids to taste the offerings of various genres!  The myriad leaves of the trees represent the leaves of books, reminding students of all the knowledge that surrounds us and is readily available!  Huge letters in white remind adventurers to “think big”!!  A green, grassy rug in front of the “forest” has pillowed seating for students to lounge on with their choice of books!

Although the mountain motif that covers the next entire wall is huge, barren-looking and intimidating in its realistic presentation, the cubby-caves at the foot of the mountain are welcoming, cozy spots! Several dark brown individual c-shaped support pillows under the “mountain” render these spots to be safe havens, lit with small lanterns for ease in reading!

Instead of engendering the idea that “this is too hard to climb”, the mountain structure is designed in such a way that students are motivated to get comfortable and start at the bottom, realizing that “the top” is an attainable goal!

Rounding the corner are more dark brown, tree-like bookshelves in various shapes, holding more adventures!  And near the windows, is an amazing life-like tall tree that almost reaches the ceiling, with friendly stuffed animals perched in the branches! (Please see the video about the making of the tree!)

At the base of the tree are several chairs with tufted blue cushions facing out, sitting on a grassy, forest-floor-rug, edged with large leaf and stump pillows for more seating choices.  Below the chairs are bins of more books as well as “reading buddy” stuffed animals, including a cuddly Bambi!

The center of the room has trail-worthy wood-colored Adirondack chairs near a large soothing-blue lake (rug).  This set up gives another option for students to relax as they absorb more original ideas from their choices and become inspired by new ideas and creative combinations of them, coming up with inventions to help all of humanity!

Another commanding, impressive scene features a waterfall (created using sheer fabrics over blue twinkling lights!) running down a gray stone wall and ending in a refreshing pool!

And I literally (pun intended!) missed the boat! (check it out in the photos!) It’s situated on the soothing-blue lake…across the “water” from the stately Adirondack chairs!!

This creative environment with so many options can safely guide the students on their pathways to more knowledge and a more complete understanding of this complex world around us.  And the better understanding they have, the better chance these life-long learners have of success in coming up with solutions to the problems they will face!

Representatives from the local Boys and Girls Club who are involved with the students, as well as several friendly police officers who are also involved with the students on a regular basis were present in support!

Congratulations to Related Companies for sponsoring such an inspiring room!!

Special thanks to Principal Jamilah Johnson, Katherine Winne and the entire reading room committee members.




Written By Candy Carson

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