Nov. 21, 2017
BOOKS and PAJAMAS — Students at Meredith Nicholson School 96 wore pajamas to school on Nov. 8 for Scholars in Sleepwear, a national event that promotes literacy. Below, one student stood out, thanks to her Disney princess slippers.
Things looked a little different than usual at Meredith Nicholson School 96 on Nov. 8.
Instead of the standard uniform pants and polo shirts, students attended classes, ate lunch and even participated in extracurricular activities and recess in their pajamas. It wasn’t a mass act of defiance, but part of the National Young Readers Week “Scholars in Sleepwear.”
The program helps to foster a love for reading in students throughout the country by asking educators to break away from the daily curriculum and have students read books instead.
At Meredith Nicholson, students wore everything from superhero and movie-themed pajamas to princess slippers. Even the educators participated in this fun event, including Assistant Principal Cara Chandler, who had a 1950’s theme going with a shiny black-and-pink pajama set, along with pigtails and pink hair bows.
Each class read books and participated in reading-related activities throughout the day — from making book marks and sleep masks, to hosting tea parties and even a schoolwide convocation to celebrate the special event. Community partners also visited the school to read to children.
“We decided to take the challenge and have a whole day of reading and to make it fun for the kids and read in our pajamas,” said Chandler. “It’s fun because there’s nothing that sounds better to me than staying at home and reading in my pajamas all day. … We want to promote literacy and have fun, and almost all of the students came in their pajamas today. We’re showing that reading should be pleasurable and fun.”
To Chandler’s knowledge, this was the first time the school has participated in the annual event. And while they didn’t follow the “regular” curriculum, Chandler said students still received the state standards.
Fourth-grade teacher Tracy Schneider agrees.
During her class, she introduced students to the book she said fostered her love of reading, Judy Blume’s “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.”
“I still remember how excited I was over that book. … Some kids are so excited about it, that they’re reading ahead,” said Schneider, who had her students work on inferencing and character traits — which are part of state standards — while reading the book.
“This has been an amazing opportunity and an amazing day. It’s a chance to do something different. It’s breaks up the monotony,” said Schneider. “I’m hoping that they see that reading can take them places and take them out of their everyday setting, and that even if things get tough, you can always escape in a book.”
Kindergarten student Maurice W., 5, had a great day.
“My favorite part was reading books about animals,” he said, wearing a pair of Batman Lego pajamas. “It was fun wearing my pajamas to school.”
After the “Scholars in Sleepwear,” Schneider reported that her students are now Judy Blume fans! They are searching through her classroom books for Judy Blume titles and asking to
keep them at their desks.
“Our Scholars in Sleepwear day really sparked something in them! They are engaged more than ever during read-aloud time,” said Schneider, adding that one of her students recently purchased the entire “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing” series, and brought it to school.