On Thursday, October 6, 2022, the Carson Scholars Fund (CSF) opened its 258th Ben Carson Reading Room at Palm Beach Public School. This accomplishment was made possible due to the generosity of the Harvey Oyer family and the Crowell and Frisbie family. Dr. and Mrs. Ben Carson were in attendance for the ribbon cutting ceremony to meet with the students, educators, administrators, special guests and Palm Beach dignitaries, including Palm Beach Mayor Danielle Moore, members of the town council, Palm Beach County School Superintendent Michael J. Burke and members of the school board. Palm Beach Public Principal Christie Schwab shared, “The ‘Enchanted Garden’ was created so our students can develop and nurture their love of reading. With over nine hundred books donated, students can find a book to enjoy in the relaxing garden.”
Dr. Ben Carson inspired the students and guests in attendance with stories about his life’s lessons and stated, “Candy and I have made it our lifelong mission to instill the importance of reading. It gives us great joy to open a reading room in our adopted hometown.”
During the ceremony, co-sponsor Harvey E. Oyer III made the surprise announcement that due to the generosity of local community members, sponsorships have been pledged for six additional reading rooms in Palm Beach County. Everyone in attendance was overjoyed to learn about the growth of the program in Palm Beach County – making it one of the largest presences of reading rooms in a single area.
The mission of the Ben Carson Reading Project is to provide every student with the opportunity to have an enjoyable environment to self-select a book and read for pleasure. Each room is equipped with over 500 books. The reading room is designed for the children’s comfort and is a safe place for them to explore their world through literature to become enthusiastic and proficient readers.
Harvey E. Oyer III shared, “We are committed to investing in the community where my great-great grandparents settled 150 years ago. Carson Reading Rooms create environments where our children become lifetime readers and learners so that they grow to be better stewards of our nation and planet.”
Reading rooms serve as beacons of inspiration, imagination and educational promise within a school and a community. Due to the generosity of individuals like Mr. Harvey E. Oyer III, Mr. Cody Crowell and Mr. Robert Frisbie Jr., reading rooms will continue to make an extraordinary impact on Palm Beach County students and beyond. There are currently 26 reading rooms in Palm Beach County.