Thousands of DPS students now have access to dedicated reading spaces in their schools, thanks to a generous gift from the Richard Lumsden Foundation and the Carson Scholars Fund.

Students enjoying the Ben Carson Reading Room at Samuels Elementary School.

This gift allowed for the construction of Ben Carson Reading Rooms at five local Denver Public Schools: Amesse, Colfax Munroe, Samuels and Swansea. Carson Scholars Fund Co-Founder Mrs. Candy Carson, family members and guests of the Richard Lumsden Foundation, and DPS and community representatives gathered at Samuels Elementary School on October 18th to celebrate the additions.

Dorris Lumsden and Candy Carson cut the ribbon on the Carson Reading Room at Samuels Elementary School October 18.

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. “We know that grade-level literacy is a key to long-term student achievement,” said DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg. “The Carson Reading Rooms at five DPS schools will provide tremendous opportunity for our student to embrace reading and refine the skills that will help them succeed in all aspects of their education.”

“The addition of a Carson Reading Room to our school affords us the opportunity to engage all of our students in the wonders of reading,” said Samuels Principal Mikel Royal. “Having a quiet and comfortable place free from distractions, where children can step into the pages of a mystery, a biography, an adventure, a fantasy, or another time and place in history is a tremendous gift to our school. The fact that Dr. Carson attributes so much of his success to his enjoyment and the benefits of reading sets an outstanding example for our students and staff as we venture into this exciting program together. We are very grateful for this honor.”

Samuels students enjoy the expanded library collection made possible by the construction of the Carson Reading Room.

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 58 Ben Carson Reading Rooms serving students in seven states.

For more information on the Carson Scholars Fund visit