Reading is an out-of-this-world experience at Northridge Elementary School – just ask the students. On Friday, February 7, 2014, Northridge Elementary in Fair Oaks, California opened its Ben Carson Reading Room. The reading room featured a “Reach for the Stars” theme and was the 100th Ben Carson Reading Room to be established since the program’s inception in 2000.
The festivities began with an all-school assembly. Principal Michele Flagler began the program with a warm welcome to the students, staff and special guests. Students played a vital role in the ceremony. During the program, the Northridge Student Council shared Dr. Carson’s THINK BIG philosophy. Students and guests were also treated to a few musical selections by the Northridge Choir. This reading room was sponsored by the County Club Optimist Club. Country Club Optimist Club members came out to share in the celebration and to show their support to the youths in the community.
Immediately following the ceremony was the ribbon cutting. Guests assembled outside of Room 23. Mr. Howard O’Neil, President of the County Club Optimist Club had the honor of cutting the ribbon. Once inside the reading room, guests were in awe. Dark blue walls provide the perfect backdrop for the space-themed room. An enormous wall graphic of an astronaut exploring the moon covers the wall inspiring students to reach further than they have ever imagined. This reading room brought the community together. Dee Thelen or Grandma Dee as she is affectionately known throughout the school provided the inspiration for the décor. Northridge volunteers and staff members shared her vision and worked diligently to bring the room to fruition. Students meticulously painted the thousands of stars covering the walls. A comfy couch, small tables, warm lamps and colorful rug augment the décor. Hundreds of books line the bookshelves waiting for little hands to grasp them and read them from cover-to-cover. Imaginations are sure to soar in the Northridge Ben Carson Reading Room.
Thank you to all who supported this special effort: Country Club Optimist Club, Dee Thelen, Lyn Greene, Northridge Student Council, Northridge PTA and the Northridge volunteers and staff.