Secretary Carson Holds Virtual Reading Session with Smithsonian’s National Zoo Assistant Curator

Secretary Carson Holds Virtual Reading Session with Smithsonian's National Zoo Assistant Curator

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson and Gil Myers of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo released a new video as part of the virtual series, Summer Reading with Secretary Carson.

Gil Myers is an assistant curator of Cheetah Conservation Station at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Secretary Carson and Mr. Myers read “Giraffes Can’t Dance” by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees.

Throughout the summer, Secretary Carson published story time videos for children and parents to view on his Instagram channel. In addition to reading, the series highlighted several of HUD’s initiatives that focus on educational advancement, such as the EnVision Center initiative and Book Rich Environments. To view the video, click here.

“Reading is a fundamental part of learning; it certainly had an important impact on my life,” said Secretary Ben Carson. “Through this summer reading series, we’re helping kids to cultivate a love for reading, which is a skill that will serve them greatly for the rest of their lives.”

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“Connecting the next generation of conservationists to animals and the natural world is at the core of our mission,” said Gil Myers, assistant curator at the Cheetah Conservation Station, Smithsonian’s National Zoo. “Reading books is a wonderful way to foster the curiosity and awe that leads to taking action on behalf of animals.”

HUD’s Book Rich Environments (BRE) Initiative is a collaboration aimed to transform Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) into book rich environments by providing diverse, high-quality books and other literacy tools to children and families living in HUD-assisted housing to improve literacy outcomes and ensure all young people, regardless of background, have the tools they need to reach their full potential.

The effort is made possible by a partnership among the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Education (DoE), PHAs, public libraries and other local and national education partners. Last year, HUD celebrated the distribution of 1,000,000 books to children living in HUD-assisted households or participating in HUD programs.

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Secretary Carson launched the EnVision Centers Initiative to form centralized resource hubs in communities across the country that provide people with the educational tools and support needed to excel. The Centers focus on four pillars of growth and success: economic empowerment, educational advancement, health and wellness, as well as character and leadership.

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