Candy Carson helps to dedicate academy’s new Reading Room

Palm Harbor Academy (PHA) continues to harbor the purpose of excellence through its innovative, enriched education.

The quest for excellence formed the framework of the Ben Carson Reading Room, one of over 160 reading rooms established in schools across the country.

The Carson Scholars Fund website describes each room to be dedicated to combating illiteracy and promoting leisure reading as a key to unlocking a child’s potential.

Each room is decorated with attractive, eye-catching artwork based on Dr. Ben Carson’s “Think Big” philosophy.

Preparing for the ribbon cutting of the Ben Carson Reading Room are Dr. Betty Despenza Green, Candy Carson, the Rev. Dr. Gillard S. Glover and Flagler County Commissioner Nate McLaughlin.

Through partnerships with individuals, corporations and foundations, over $2 million has been invested into creating and maintaining the Ben Carson Reading Rooms.

The lift-off ceremony, launched from the First Church of Palm Coast, was attended by various persons of influence. A ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception followed at Palm Harbor Academy.
Candy Carson, wife of the world-renowned neurosurgeon, Dr. Ben Carson, was among the high-level persons of influence. She was the keynote speaker.

‘Think Big’ program
The Palm Harbor students were poised to lead the “Pledge of Allegiance.’’ K’imani McCoy superbly extended her voice to sing “The Star Spangled Banner,” and the students made a presentation of big-letter alphabets, spelling out and describing Dr. Carson’s meaning of “Think Big.”

Music teacher Nathaniel Shropshire III made a smash hit by changing music artist Pharrell’s tune “Because I’m Happy” to “Because We’re Reading,” which was sung by the PHA Choir.

Principal Taylor Croot stands at the helm of Palm Harbor Academy.

“Palm Harbor has been busily doing outstanding things – improving their scores – soaring to new heights,” said Dr. Betty Despenza Green, a director of the academy. “And now, we have another fantastic opportunity to do even better.”

Tucked in the cubby in the reading section are Flagler County School Superintendent Jacob Oliva, students Moriah Wiggins and K’mani McCoy and Flagler County Commissioner Nate McLaughlin.

The academy’s founder, the Rev. Dr. Gillard S. Glover, said, “Our purpose here is to dedicate this reading room, to recognize the multiple contributors, and to recognize the great work that has been done – to establish this place where our children can go and exercise their minds.”

“One thing that I really like about the Carsons’ vision for creating a special place – and not only have access to text – but a place where students are excited about learning, that it makes reading the prize,” said Flagler County School Superintendent Jacob Oliva.

Among the other distinguished guests were School Board Vice Chair Janet McDonald and Flagler County Commissioner Nate McLaughlin.

Heartfelt story
Moreover, the lives of Dr. Ben and Candy Carson have been infused by locals Dr. Garth and Jennifer McDonald and their involvement and support of the Carson Foundation.

Mrs. McDonald introduced Mrs. Carson as a mother, grandmother and a triple-major Yale University graduate, receiving her master’s degree in business administration from John Hopkins University. She’s an accomplished violinist, pianist and the co-author of several books.

Mrs. Carson road-tested the idea of “reading,” telling the story of a friend from the wrong side of the tracks, who was made fun of by his peers. And, when Mrs. Carson’s friend became old enough, he asked his mother, “Why would you make me read when you knew I would only get a beating (from my father for reading)?”

Mrs. Carson said the mother answered that she saw it “as a way out.”

The young man ended up being the CEO/editor of Parade Magazine, the most, widely distributed Sunday magazine in the world.

Words of hope
Mrs. Carson attested that the PHA students are cared about and are the future of America and the world.

She said, “…this country is the most benign world power in the world. We’re the ones that go and help people when there are any problems around the whole world. So, we really need you guys to develop yourselves and be the best you can be.

“You wouldn’t be here if God didn’t put you here,” affirmed Mrs. Carson. “He put you here for a purpose, and you want to fulfil that purpose to the best of your ability. Right?” she inquired. “May I have an Amen?” she asked. And, an emphatic “Amen’’ was returned.

Sign up now for STEAM camp
Looking for a great summer camp?

Palm Harbor Academy affords the opportunity of nine awesome, fun weeks!

Why not get on the ground floor and enroll your child in the “Creative Minds STEAM Camp?

Based on the five age levels of 3 to 5 years old, 6 to 7 years old, 8 to 9 years old, 10 to 11 years old, and 12 to 13 years old, your child will enjoy:
•Science: experiments, oceanography, and astronomy.
•Technology: gaming, web design, coding, and minecraft.
•Engineering: robots, legos, rocket creation, and transformers.
•Art: drawing, painting, and sculpting.
•Music: chorus, theater, and music reading.

Palm Harbor Academy, located at 95 Old Kings Road North, in Palm Coast, was founded in 2009 by the Rev. Dr. Gillard S. Glover.

And so, why not call Palm Harbor Academy for details?

The telephone number is 386-447-9692.


As always, remember our prayers for the sick, afflicted, the prodigal son, or daughter, and the bereaved.


Birthday wishes to St. Hellen Mitchell, Louise Reid, Ronald Smith, April 13; Breadon Phillip Robinson, April 14; Jillian Glover, Frank Quarterman Sr., April 15; twins Nekosha and Porsha Jones, April 16; and Rudy Stubbs, April 18.

Happy anniversary to Les and Pat Town, April 14.



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