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January 13, 2012 Published in Schools, Top Stories

T.C. Opens New Ben Carson Reading Room

By Jack Cooper

Samuel Davis, the 2011 T. C. Williams High School Carson Scholar, joins dignitaries at today's Grand Opening of the school's Ben Carson Reading Room (Photo: Jack Cooper)

The D.C. Metro Chapter of the Carson Scholars Fund is sponsoring a new Ben carson Reading room at T. C. Williams High School. When it opened today, it became the first Ben Carson reading room to be house in a secondary school in Virginia.

“We are, once again, pioneers,” T. C. Principal Suzanne Maxey said.

Virginia Congressman Jim Moran (D-8) spoke at today’s Grand Opening. “This is what education is all about; opening up a different world for our students,” he said.

The Reading Room offers students a place to relax and read in a comfortable, informal environment during lunch and breaks between classes. There are traditional print materials, Kindle e-book readers, e-books, iPads, laptop computers, and an interactive whiteboard. These resources where provided by the D.C. Metro Chapter of the Carson Scholars Fund with the help of a $10,000 from the Verizon Foundation.

“Delighted that the DC-Metro Chapter of Carson Scholars Fund has been able to achieve its significant goals for T.C. Williams High this year, thanks to the tremendous support of Verizon,” said CSF Chapter President Dr. Roy Heron. “This is going to be a model for all the schools throughout the country. T. C. will be a trendsetter once again. Truly, we love our kids and truly, I can say that this is the most important day of my entire life.”

Ra’Quell Carrington is a T. C. junior. “I’m really excited for the Reading Room because it will give us a quiet and relaxing place to read and learn, as well as a chance to take advantage of high end technology as tools for learning,” she said.

Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille applauded Dr. Carson’s Commitment to academic excellence. “This is a historic day for T.C. Williams and the city of Alexandria,” Euille said. “I want to thank Dr. Carson for his dedication to young students all across this great country.”

Dr. Ben Carson, neurosurgeon and the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, founded the Carson Scholars Fund in 1994 to address the education crisis in the United States.  The first Ben Carson Reading Room was established in 2000 in Aberdeen, Maryland. Since that time, the Carson Scholars Fund has established over 68 Reading Rooms in ten states. The primary purpose of the program is to provide funding and support to local schools so that they can create a nurturing environment for children to feel safe and secure as they develop their reading skills. The Reading Room is decorated with attractive, eye-catching artwork based on Dr. Carson’s “THINK BIG” philosophy.

T. C. Williams High School Ben Carson Reading Room (Photo: Jack Cooper)

The second initiative of the Carson Scholars Fund is the Ben Carson Reading Project.

It is dedicated to combating illiteracy and promoting leisure reading as a key to unlocking a child’s potential.

“Today is a very special day for T. C. Williams High School and I’m so happy to share it with you,” Dr. Carson said in a video message projected to those in attendance.

Candy Carson, Dr. Carson’s wife, was there to help pass on his message and excitement for the initiative. “I just want to talk to the kids,” Mrs. Carson said. “There are so many things you can do, just don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.”

ACPS Superintendent Dr. Morton Sherman and other officials hold ceremonial ribbon cutting at today's Grand Opening of the T. C. Williams High School Ben Carson Reading Room. (Photo: Jack Cooper)

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