A good book and a fuzzy pair of pajamas are two things that belong together, much like cookies and milk or peanut butter and jelly. At Altmar Elementary School (AES) in the Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Central School District the pairing of pajamas and books made for a great way to spend the last day of school before the Christmas holiday.
Students from pre-kindergarten through grade four, along with all AES faculty, were invited to wear their pajamas and grab a good book for a school day that was filled with literacy-focused activities including several instances where Santa’s sleigh bells signaled the students to stop what they were doing, put down what they were working on and read silently. “Stop, drop, and read” turned reading into a fun game and got the students excited about books. AES Principal Dee Penoyer kicked off the first “stop, drop and read” of the day by sharing one of her favorite Christmas books, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, with the entire school. Subsequent “stop, drop and reads” took place every hour and each lasted about 15 minutes in length.
The Altmar Parent Group joined in on the day’s activities by delivering homemade Christmas cookies and milk to each class.
Culminating the pajama day was a community gathering in the gymnasium where parents were invited to share in the celebration. Student volunteers recapped some of the news making headlines, another student volunteer shared the five-day weather forecast and then the entire group, students, teachers and guests, sang Christmas carols. Making a surprise visit during the community gathering was Jolly Saint Nick himself, who stopped by to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday.