ADAMS -- Well over 300 packed the gymnasium at C.T. Plunkett Elementary School on Wednesday in celebration of reading.
It may have been the best turnout yet enjoyed by the event, Curl Up and Read -- thanks to a bribe, perhaps.
"Two janitors and a paraprofessional are getting their heads shaved [because more than 300 attended]," Cindy Vadnais, a fourth-grade teacher who read Dr. Seuss' ‘Bartholomew and the Oobleck' before the crowd, said. "I guess they're going to do it in front of the school."
School staff had set their sights on 300 after falling just shy last year with 287.
Parents brought along children clad in pajamas with pillows and blankets and camped out on the gym floor.
"This is my favorite part of my job," Title 1 Director Jill Pompi said. "We're really happy so many people came out."
For the second book -- more Seuss, as sixth-grade teacher Mark Zaija stepped in to render "Yertle the Turtle."
Fitting choices, as Curl Up and Read is Adams-Cheshire Regional School District's (ACRSD) way of honoring National Read Across America Day. The initiative began in 1997 as a way of commemorating Theodor Seuss Geisel's March 2nd birthday.
Zaija duly led the crowd in singing happy birthday to the legend, who died in 1991 and would have been 109 this year.
Before the event kicked off at 6 p.m., handfuls of ACRSD employees could be found helping out at McDonald's. The business donated 20 percent of its earnings from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. to the district.
Inside, Principal Michelle Colvin kicked off the night by announcing that they were "way over" their mark of 300.
Every child who attended received a free book from the school's rotating stock of donations from parents and teachers.
"The whole purpose [of Curl Up and Read] is to get kids excited, get books in homes and put a focus on literacy," Mary Whitman, a Kindergarten teacher, said. "If a few extra kids take that spirit home with them then you've done your job."
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