The first Ben Carson Reading Room in Washington, D.C., opened on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at Friendship Southeast Elementary Academy. The Ben Carson Reading Room at Friendship Southeast Elementary Academy was sponsored by Navigant Consulting employees. In March 2012, Navigant began its fundraising efforts to sponsor a Ben Carson Reading Room. In order to raise the funding, Navigant employees participated in multiple fundraising efforts and received contributions from colleagues from as far away as California, Illinois and New York. Navigant was able to reach its goal of sponsoring a Ben Carson Reading Room within a year.
To commemorate the opening of the Ben Carson Reading Room, students, teachers, administrators and special guests gathered in the school’s auditorium for the opening day festivities.
Guests were greeted by Girl Scout Troop 0019. Members of the Friendship Collegiate Academy Color Guard began the ceremony with the Presentation of Colors. Next the Friendship Collegiate Academy Marching Knights paraded into the auditorium.
Mr. Donald Hense Founder and Chairman of Friendship Public Charter School welcomed representatives from Navigant and special guests. Benjamin S. Carson, Jr., CSF Board Member and son of Dr. and Mrs. Carson, shared a quote that his parents used to say to him when he was younger: “Many hands make light work”. He explained, it was not easy work bringing the reading room from conception to completion, but the project did bring a whole community together, from the corporate sponsor to the parents and educators, and now to the students. Jeff Green Vice President of Navigant, remarked on how Navigant employees use their resources and know-how to educate and guide people in the community along the path of opportunity. Denise Walker Head of Black/African Ancestry Employee Resource Group of Navigant shared the journey of the reading room – from an idea in the Navigant office to fundraising efforts. Ms. Walker challenged the student to use all of the resources available in the school’s Ben Carson Reading Room.
Next on the program, Mr. Tony Cord from Riveron Consulting shared how reading could take the scholars to faraway places without even leaving the school. The program concluded with a presentation by the students sharing Dr. Carson THINK BIG mnemonics. To officially open the reading room, the Collegiate Academy Marching Knights lead the special guests down the hallway to the unveiling of the Ben Carson Reading Room.
The Ben Carson Reading Room at Friendship Southeast Elementary Academy features a “From College to Beyond” theme. Colorful pennants from colleges both near and far decorate the walls. The bookshelves are filled with bins separating the books by topics. Students can peruse topics from spooky stuff to boy power, to animals and everything in between. With over 700 titles to choose from, students should not have any difficulty finding something to pique their curiosity.
Thank you Navigant Consulting employees for sponsoring the first Ben Carson Reading Room in Washington, D.C. and for empowering the leaders of tomorrow!