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Escambia County Public Schools and the Ben Carson Project Announce Strategic Collaboration to Get Students Excited About Reading

kids reading inside the classroom

Students at Ensley Elementary will begin reading to new heights thanks to a partnership with the Ben Carson Reading Room Project.  On Tuesday, September 20, 2022, The Escambia County School Board approved a contract for the first Ben Carson Reading Room to be developed at Ensley Elementary School.


The Ben Carson Reading Project is dedicated to combating illiteracy and promoting leisure reading as a key to unlocking a child’s potential. The room is filled with hundreds of books for students to explore from a variety of authors, topics, and genres. The Reading Room is decorated with attractive, eye-catching artwork based on Dr. Carson’s THINK BIG philosophy. The cozy environment encourages students and their families to come together to recognize the importance of reading.  This project is possible thanks to the generous support and donation of funds from Bill and Pam Fleming.

“We are so excited and grateful to create a space for reading for our Ensley Wildcat community!” said Ensley Elementary Media Specialist Ms. Alonzo.  “It will give students the chance to pick a book of choice, to relax, and read for enjoyment.  500 new books are planned for opening day.  The Carson Reading Room is going to increase our students’ access to engage in reading for enjoyment.  We are creating a culture of lifelong reading thanks to Carson’s dream.”

A timeline for the completion of the Carson Reading Room has been established and a grand opening is tentatively scheduled for December, 2022 or January, 2023.  More information regarding the grand opening will be shared once the details are finalized.