Getting into Character  

For students attending P.S. 346, this past Halloween was not only about trick or treating. During the school day, they dressed as their favorite storybook characters, and participated in a Storybook Parade held in the schoolyard.

“Any time we can combine literacy and good old fashion fun, it’s a great thing,” said Principal Kevin Caifa, pleased with the student activity that also demonstrated their passion for reading.

Eight-year-old Caridad Vazquez enjoys reading fairytales and Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland is one of her favorites. Wearing a bright blue dress with black and white checkered stockings, the third grader became the story’s main character for a day. With a big smile, Vazquez admitted she and Alice have something in common, “She always asks questions, like me.”

Alicia Sherman, fourth grade special needs teacher and parade coordinator, said the event celebrated literacy and encouraged reading for pleasure. “We wanted to have an activity that would lift school spirit and be fun for both students and parents.” Impressed by the outcome, she described the event, also known as “Character Day,” as an opportunity for students to embrace their favorite books and characters and share the joy.

The Witch’s Walking Stick is Malia Thomas’ favorite. “I like the witch because she is always trying to turn birds into bats and dogs into cats,” she said laughingly. Thomas wore a black dress with a pointed hat and pretended she had her very own magical staff.

The Storybook Parade brought students like Christopher Lopez lots of excitement. He loves to read Star Wars books and comics. Getting into character, the nine-year-old dressed as the intimidating antagonist General Grievous complete with a robotic body jumpsuit and mask. “I like that he doesn’t really follow anyone, he does whatever he wants,” said Lopez who already knows that next year he will be in character as Star War’s villain Darth Vader.

Judging from the costumes worn, the most popular characters can be found in storybooks, comic books, animated movies and on television. This year’s favorites were princesses from Disney’s animated movie Frozen, wizards and witches from Harry Potter books, Ninja Turtles seen on television and superheroes like Spiderman.

Sherman said afterwards the students returned to their classrooms to talk about the parade and their favorite stories. Principal Caifa says Character Day will become a Halloween tradition at P.S. 346.\

By: Amanda Moses