Ben Carson Reading Room schools usually hold their opening day celebrations during school hours. Milbrook Elementary School in Pikesville was the exception. On Thursday evening, November 17, 2011 students, parents, and administrators gathered for the school’s annual “On T.R.A.C.K. with Reading” event. This annual event is held to provide parents with information on how to support students’ reading achievements at home. This year’s event, however, was like no other. This year’s event began with the official opening of the school’s Ben Carson Reading Room.
To begin the festivities, students, parents, administrators, and special guests gathered in the cafeterium (a combination of cafeteria and auditorium). After the Pledge of Allegiance, Principal Christina Byers welcomed everyone and acknowledged the special guests in attendance. Room benefactor and CSF board member Mrs. Phyllis Friedman was next to address the audience. Mrs. Friedman shared how books can change your life. Mrs. Friedman recalled reading Dr. Carson’s autobiography Gifted Hands and how it inspired her to become a part of the Carson Scholars Fund.
CSF Executive Director Amy Warner was next on the program. Mrs. Warner directed her remarks to the students. Mrs. Warner told the students how when Dr. Carson was a young boy he was not a good student but by reading two books a week, Dr. Carson began to know things that no one in his class knew. Although they may be very young, Milbrook students already recognize the importance of reading. Student representatives from each grade shared their hopes and dreams and why reading is important in making their dreams come to fruition. Immediately following the class representatives, the 4th graders sang “One World Many Stories.” Reading Specialist Laurie Rosenberg concluded the program by thanking the room sponsors, Mr. and Mrs. Louis and Phyllis Friedman, and all of the room contributors.
Immediately following the ceremony, Principal Byers and the special guests proceeded to the school’s Ben Carson Reading Room. After Principal Byers and Louis and Phyllis Friedman cut the ribbon, guests entered the room.
The first thing you notice when you enter the Milbrook Elementary Ben Carson Reading Room is the tranquility of the pasture mural. Horses graze in the grass as two bright yellow ducks frolic in the pond under a pale blue sky. Across the room, a large bulletin board features Dr. Carson’s medical and professional accomplishments. Another area of the room features pictures of all of the Milbrook teachers, and written underneath each picture is his or her favorite children’s book. Many of the teachers’ favorite books can be found in the school’s Ben Carson Reading Room.
Special thanks to room sponsors Louis and Phyllis Friedman. Milbrook Elementary School is the 65th school to have a Ben Carson Reading room and this is the 10th room to be sponsored by the Friedmans.