June 8, 2012

First Ben Carson Reading Room in Ohio opens in Carl & Louis Stokes Central Academy School in Cleveland

The Carson Scholars Fund and the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland recently announced the opening of the first Ben Carson Reading Room in Ohio in a Cleveland Public School: Carl & Louis Stokes Central Academy.

The grand opening ceremony took place May 23, 2012 at Louis & Carl Stokes Central Academy in Cleveland.

To celebrate the occasion, Carson Scholars Fund Co-Founder Mrs. Candy Carson and Congressman Louis Stokes, as well as other guests, attended the opening day ceremony and ribbon cutting.
Stokes students and their parents participated in the Grand Opening Assembly. Mrs. Carson addressed the students and Dr. Ben Carson sent a videotaped a greeting. 
The Ben Carson Reading Project is one of the educational programs implemented by the Carson Scholars Fund.  Ben Carson Reading Rooms are designed to encourage young students and their families to discover the pleasure found in independent leisure reading and to recognize the true power of learning.

Dr. Carson, a world-renowned Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgeon, credits reading as the catalyst for his success and hopes to share this message with children throughout the country.

“Reading is the key to success,” said Dr. Ben Carson.  “Our partnership with the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland will ensure young minds develop the skills necessary to promote lifelong learning.

“When a child opens up a book, he opens up a world of possibilities.”

Dr. Carson visited Cleveland in November of 2011 to be the guest speaker of the Sisters of Charity Foundation’s 15th Anniversary Celebration. Dr. Carson also spoke to the 6th, 7th and 8th graders from Marion Sterling, George Washington Carver, and Stokes about how reading turned his life around at the Stokes Auditorium.

The Carson Reading Room – Dream Café at Stokes is made possible through the support of a generous grant from the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland.

“We are so glad our 15th anniversary gift to the school will help students embrace the love of reading,” said Susanna Krey, president of the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland.  “This is the first Carson Reading Room in Ohio, and we hope others will add more rooms to other Cleveland schools and to schools across the state.

”We believe the new Reading Room at Stokes compliments all the work we are doing, with residents, partners and collaborators,  in the Central community toward the Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood.”

The goal of the Promise Neighborhood is to ensure children are ready for kindergarten, go to good schools, graduate from high school and college or other trade and vocational schools and start a career.
Stokes Principal Fatima Wright said the addition of a Carson Reading Room, where children have a quiet, comfortable place to read and dream will be a benefit to the students.

“We are grateful for the honor,” Wright said. “Dr. Carson spoke to our students last November about how important reading was to his success and we hope the students are inspired by his story.”

The Carson Scholars Fund is a nonprofit public charity founded in 1994 by world-renowned Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson and his wife, Candy, to motivate and reward academic excellence in young people. Currently there are more than 74 Ben Carson Reading Rooms serving students in 10 states. With the addition of the Stokes Reading Room 11 states.

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland, established in 1996, is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System. Sixty percent of its assets involved St. Vincent Charity Hospital and 40 percent from the Saint Ann Foundation – the nation’s first healthcare conversion foundation. Saint Ann, founded in 1973, merged with the Sisters of Charity in 2006. The Foundation’s mission is to address the root causes of poverty in health, education and housing. Supported by our sponsors, the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine, the Foundation also supports ministries of women religious.

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From its Cleveland headquarters, the Sisters of Charity Health System provides oversight, leadership and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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