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Chambersburg Stevens Elementary students enjoy reading party

April 25, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A 13-foot bee hive, its honey comb made of paper bags, dominated the multipurpose room of Thaddeus Stevens Elementary School Thursday night as a crowd of more than 400 students, parents and staff gathered for pizza and prose at the ninth annual PJ Reader Night.

"Last year it was 324 and that was a record," said Title I teacher Eileen Blowers, one of the organizers. Many of the students were dressed for bed in pajamas, getting ready to read or be read to by their parents in the darkened halls, the pages illuminated by flashlights, she said.

They were to also make bee headbands and bee figurines in classrooms, Blowers said.

"Bee a Reader" was the theme for the evening, linked to the Jerry Seinfeld animated film "Bee Movie," Blowers said. Each year, PJ Night links popular culture to literature to spark the students'' interest, she said.

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Fifth-grader Pa'Shun Mosima-Hill, dressed in a bee costume, feasted on pepperoni pizza, chips and fruit. Also dressed to fit the theme was reading specialist Sue Marshall.

"The practical application is not to just involve the students, but the parents and community, in the importance of reading," said Catherine Dusman, assistant superintendent for Elementary Services.

"Reading. It's all they talk about," Jessica Fahnestock said of her children, Samantha, 7, and 6-year-old Brandon. They both said they were there for the "reading and playing outside."

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