Jacksonville Elementary School in Phoenix, MD is the 50th Ben Carson Reading Room in history!
2012 Update: Students have read 62,520 minutes in their Ben Carson Reading Room.
A Ben Carson Reading Room Coordinator said, “Students have realized that it is a fun place to go to read for fun. There are so many things to select and just as many fun places to sit and read. We need to give kids the opportunity to pick up anything to read for fun. It is so often decided for them what to read and when to have it completed.”
“The reading room is so motivation for the children. When I read the names of the children going on their assigned day, they cheer about it. When I announce to my class that I have signed up for a time, they also are very excited. The enthusiasm to go to the reading room is easy to see,” said a Jacksonville Elementary teacher.
On Friday, September 24, 2010 Marilyn Glen, Qadira Wagstaff and several other representatives from sponsor Procter & Gamble’s Hunt Valley R&D department took their company’s philosophy on community support to heart and supported the Reading Room Opening.
Jacksonville Elementary Principal Debbie Glinowiecki opened the program with a personal perspective on how this all began; Candy Carson shared the story of a student who overcame his “wrong side of the tracks” environment through reading, and the event continued with an emcee trio. Three very poised 5th-graders smoothly ran the program in tandem. Dulaney Valley High School’s “Lion’s Roar” Marching Band Drumline set the celebratory tone of the day as they marched in full regalia, with various percussive instruments from snares to bass drums. They kept the audience mesmerized with their particularly intriguing hand choreographies with their drumsticks.
Our trio then had us all recite the Pledge of Allegiance to a full-sized United States flag that had been carried in behind the drum corps, by one of their own students, alongside another student with the state flag. “The Journey” song, sung by the 5th grade choir was a hit, with a message of ‘continuing to try’, capably accompanied by music teacher Becky Tice.
Executive Director of the Carson Scholars Fund, Amy Warner, addressed the group with congratulatory remarks and presented Marilyn Glen, head of R & D at the Hunt Valley Procter & Gamble with a special certificate of thanks. Who in turn, shared thoughts on reading and how it inspires great things. Before reading her beautiful original poem, her instructions to the audience to listen carefully for key words and wave when they heard them, kept us all on the edge of our seats.
A slideshow continued with the theme of ‘the importance of reading’ with it’s depictions of Jacksonville students reading in various unique and creative poses and places around the school! This was followed by an original poem by a lovely 4th grader, which charmed us all. Superintendent Hairston then spoke on the importance of reading after which he was joined by the principal, Marilyn Glen and Candy Carson on stage. A green ribbon was rolled out from the lectern to the opposite end of the stage, while a fifth grader held the scissors “at the ready”! The pronouncement was given, and at the count of three, the Reading Room was declared officially open!
As we processed from the gym to the Reading Room, we passed under a colorful, whimsical banner that had been designed by the students announcing the new addition to their school!
Think of relaxing in a meadow and allowing the cares of your day to gently lift skyward as you cozy up in a butterfly-shaped chair! After passing through a portal with hovering butterflies overhead, a field of black-eyed susans (our state flower) beckons you to draw even closer! A woodsy fountain flows amongst the ceramic frogs perched near smooth river rocks, and a child-sized mushroom-shaped table between two colorful wooden stumps beg you to sit and stay awhile!
And this Reading Room is not only as beautifully decorated and well appointed as any of the others, but this is the FIRST Reading Room in existence to include another room inside of it! The extra room within the main Reading Room was established so that the students could read out loud. Windows keep the rooms connected in spirit and design, and the rainbow-umbrella- hexagonal wooden picnic table with tiny benches is so adorable-it makes you wish you were a kid again! Wild flowers of all kinds have been meticulously painted on the walls in this section of the room and you just have to visit!
Many thanks to so many dedicated people who made this possible- Principal Debbie Glinowiecki, Vice Principal Nancy Aumiller, committee members, Cynthia Newman-Lynch, Claire McGuinness, Marilyn Glen, Qadira Wagstaff and the entire P&G family.
The Jacksonville Elementary School Reading Room was sponsored by Procter & Gamble