Pajamas, Popcorn and Paperbacks Reading Night at Chestnut Ridge Elementary School

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Churchville-Chili’s Chestnut Ridge Elementary School held its first Pajamas, Popcorn and Paperbacks Reading Night on Oct. 24 for students and their families. Shortly after the doors opened at 6 p.m., the school cafeteria was filled with scores of excited students, younger siblings, parents and family members. Many wore warm, comfy pajamas and brought blankets and pillows and books — lots of books. They came prepared to settle in for a special night of reading together.

Many of the school’s teachers and administrators were on hand, taking turns as guest readers. The brave ones wore their pajamas or costumes. From the Cat in the Hat to Mary Poppins and Snow White, each guest reader attracted their own eager fans. Readers included Principal Kim Hale, Assistant Principal Jennifer Dixon, librarian Colleen Wilson, teachers Kerry Burnett, Brittany Colombo, Cassandra King, Crystal Leddon, Amy Lockamyeir, Jackie Magiera and Jodi Piontkowski. Also sharing a favorite book was a visitor from the Chili Public Library, Wendy Saxena-Smith.

The literacy party was hosted by the CRS Parent Teacher Organization (CRSPTO). “We have a very strong, extremely creative group of volunteers in our PTO,” said CRSPTO secretary and substitute teacher Kelly Lamb, whose idea sparked the night of reading. “We are always looking for new ways to bring our community together for the benefit of our kids. This free event brought families out for a night of fun with friends, to meet neighbors and teachers in an informal atmosphere built around reading. Reading with your children brings families closer and events like this can help build a life-long love for reading.” 

“It was great to see all the excitement,” said Lamb. “We had a wonderful crowd and amazing enthusiasm from our teachers, many more of whom wanted to be there, but couldn’t make it this time. We’re going to give them another chance later in the year. We hope to offer another Pajamas, Popcorn and Paperbacks Reading Night this spring.”

The event will join a long list of CRSPTO-sponsored events and initiatives that include a Fall Festival, Kindergarten Picnic, rollerskating and painting nights, a talent show, dances, book fairs and special grants to teachers.