Pajama party held in Thompson

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Thompson - posted Mon., Mar. 4, 2013
(L to r) Natalie Creighton, Ellen Pratt and Carol Rossetti play for the crowd. Photos by D. Coffey.
(L to r) Natalie Creighton, Ellen Pratt and Carol Rossetti play for the crowd. Photos by D. Coffey.

The Mary R. Fisher Elementary School hosted a pajama party on Feb. 27. Greeting the parents and children who came through the doors were first-grade teachers Andrea Krensky, Carol Kudzal and the Cat in the Hat. The annual Bedtime Stories event brought in more than 250 people, according to reading specialist Donna Weaver. More than 140 of them were students.

Six rooms with two readers each were set aside for the evening. A bell rang every 15 minutes to move each group along. There was a music room where kids could move to the music of teacher Carol Rossetti and second-grade teacher Ellen Pratt. Rossetti played the guitar, Pratt played the mountain dulcimer and student Natalie Creighton joined in on her homemade dulcimer. In another room, boxes of snacks awaited hungry mouths. Tourtellotte Memorial High School Honor Society students read from selections they had made. And for those students who could not sit still long enough to listen to a story, the gym was open.

Principal Noveline Beltram said it was an opportunity for the teachers to model reading, as well as their pajamas. The hallmark of the evening is that children can come in their pajamas. Teachers advertised the event by wearing their PJs to school on Wednesday. “We're tying it in with Dr. Seuss' birthday, the national program, ‘Read Across America,’ and the CMT kickoff,” Beltram said. “Good readers make for better test scores, better community members, stronger career paths. It all ties in.”

“Kids need to hear fluent readers read,” said Pratt during a break in her concert. “Otherwise they might not get proficient. When they sing using music books, they are looking at words. Reading the text helps with fluency. The first reading helps kids decode words. The second time they read through they get to think about the story. The third and fourth time they read it, they enjoy the story.”

“Literature is so important at any age,” said fourth-grade teacher Nicole Kinsella, “but it's not always about learning. It's about loving something.”


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