By Kenny Brechner
FARMINGTON – W.G. Mallett School’s Prime Time Reading, also known as Jammie Night, continues to be my favorite event of the year.
It takes place during Mallet’s Community Book Week, which also features the adorable Book Character parade. Apart from having great company Jammie Night has some of the best ingredients an event could possibly be made of, a shared love of reading, widespread community support and partnerships, pajamas, great authors, a great crowd, and amazing decorations.
Here’s how it works. The Mallett community comes back to school at 6 p.m. in the evening, parents, kids, teachers, librarian, principal, all dressed in the pajamas for an evening of read alouds. I produce a children’s book author. The evening starts with that author reading his book to the assembled throng in the gymnasium, which has been lavishly decorated around the book’s theme. Afterwords families can either go listen to one of five different community readers in five different classrooms, read together in the gym, or purchase a book and have the guest author sign it. The evening ends with the author reading a second book to the whole audience and then concludes with goodnights and more book signing.
2016 our special guest was the terrific Maine author and illustrator Matt Tavares. His books often feature baseball history themes, which were very evident by the evening’s amazing decorations.
The Community Book Week also features the Book Character Parade. Students and teachers dress up as their favorite book character and parade through the downtown. Also included is the ‘Power Down Challenge,’ where families are asked to abstain from using technology; reading books and playing board games instead.