The cloudy day in October didn’t cause any rain on the parade of celebratory moments at the St. Thomas Moore Catholic Academy Reading Room Opening! A faith-driven school located in the Highland community of Washington D.C., St. Thomas More has been teaching D.C. youth to become lifelong scholars rooted in faith for more than 50 years!
The two ceremonies were held back-to-back in the cafe-torium, one for the younger set: pre-K through 3rd graders, and the second for the 4th through 8th graders!
From beginning to end, the excitement was contagious! Memorable musical moments from the students and sponsors, creative commentary by the co-hosts, and special remarks from Principal Gerald D. Smith, Jr. and Assistant Principal Deidre Shuler, as well as special guest Mrs. Candy Carson, co-founder of the Carson Scholars Fund, contributed to the success of the program. Special interviews of students by Dr. William Bennett, co-sponsor and former U.S. Secretary of Department of Education, topped off the ceremonies!
After the last musical number, Best Friends Foundation sponsors Dr. Bennett and Mrs. Elayne Bennett passed out books to each of the students.
Back to nature…
As you enter the room a special calm comes over you! The forest-green walls seem to embrace with a peacefulness that pervades each person! The quiet of the forest is only interrupted by inspired/imagined cricket sounds and the rustling of leaves…. The campfire is a very safe one…a stuffed pillow near the corner with a couple of helpful lanterns to guide your steps. The leaves of plants winding through the ceiling supports seem to reach down to the students as if to say, “Please reach up towards me! The sky isn’t even a limit!!”
Several areas designed to draw the students in were strategically placed around the room: such as a low, plush sofa that cuddles as one settles in for a reading adventure, with several log pillows nearby to cushion any harsh thoughts! The wicker “table/ottomans” resemble friendly “dinosaur bugs,” with their curved black legs and “mouths” large enough for children to reach in and obtain more fun-filled books! In the koala corner, the little critter is painted on the wall climbing a palm tree of stacked books, using knowledge to discover and reach new heights!
Special thanks to The Best Friends Foundation, Dr. William and Elayne Bennett, Diana Davis Spencer, Abby Moffat, Courtney Brown, Principal Smith, Ms. Shuler and Erica Jones.