The Monday after the clocks had sprung forward, marking the beginning of Daylight Saving Time, and robbing an hour of precious sleep, it was quite fitting that the students and staff of Jericho’s Robert Seaman Elementary School turned up to classes in their pajamas. Only siesta time, it was not. “Fiesta” was the theme of this year’s annual Scholastic Book Fair, a three-day literary event, and students were ready to “Fiesta Like There’s No Mañana!” Though “Pajama Day” was just the tip of the tamale.
Come nightfall, the fiesta opened its doors to the families of Seaman students. With parents in the library—now a magically transformed den of spice and vibrancy, embellished with flowering cacti, serape-trimmed sombreros, and books displayed as thoughtfully as mosaic tiles in a Mexican courtyard—kindergarten and first grade students gathered with their amigos in the gymnasium, enjoying nutritious snacks with gusto and gracias before settling at the feet of their favorite teachers, eager to listen to the treasured bedtime selections of their maestros.
[Among some of the night’s hits were, The Monster Who Lost His Mean by Tiffany Strelitz Haber (Author), Kristie Edmunds (Illustrator); Froggy’s Worst Play-Date by Jonathan London (Author), Frank Remkiewicz (Illustrator); and Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin (Author), Daniel Salmieri (Illustrator).]
“Students who read more become better readers and writers, have a better vocabulary, and are better able to be successful in school,” says Lynne Mattern, the beloved Robert Seaman Librarian, now in her 18th year at the school. “Parents are such an important influence on their child’s development of interest and ability in reading and can greatly influence their children by reading to them often and by showing interest in their child’s reading choices.” One such parent, Marnie Cacossa, PTA Book Fair Volunteer and parent to a newborn and second grader, made this year’s Book Fair a priority, especially given how much last year’s event helped ease her family’s transition into school mid-year. “It was so great to see just how involved the kids and families are here. Everyone came out; there was all this energy. So this year, I wanted to help be a part of it.”
Seaman students donated money and books benefiting their adopted school, West Elementary of Long Beach, NY. School Principal, Ms. Ivy Sherman, wearing sombrero and poncho, certainly drummed up a lot of excitement this year! No doubt about it.”
“Taco” ’bout great ideas, the school also ran a “Pajama Drive” in collaboration with two Long Island organizations: The INN and Pajama Program, where new and used pajamas were donated and distributed to both charities based on their needs. ¡Olé!