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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Fall Festivals

Drive past elementary schools and you’ll see the signs for our Fall Festivals. Some are elaborate events with hayrides, animals, and entertainment. Others involve simple games designed by classroom teachers and manned by parent volunteers. All of these events demand teachers give extra time to the school in order to provide a night of family fun. Do you participate?

This year and last I have had a Chocolate Fountain in the library. (Did you know there was a website for The Chocolate Guy?) I have a simple home chocolate fountain like the ones you can order from Sephra. I had containers of 6 different styles of pretzels with varying amounts for 2 tickets each. I felt like I had to do a little bit of math while students weighed where they wanted one huge log, 4 pretzel sticks, 3 checkerboards or 2 pretzel crisps, twists, and bits and pieces.

One of the students asked why I chose chocolate as an activity so I spouted my favorite Arnold Adoff poem on Chocolate. Then I confessed that this was a booth for the parents to enjoy the most. The library stays relatively quiet during the fall festival and the smell of chocolate is a great treat to mom’s especially. For the remainder of the evening everyone is attracted to the smell that clings to me and I become very popular.

We gathered just over $100 with not too much effort. The students and parents were aware we were raising our money to buy new bean bag chairs in the library. 

Still, I have a confession to make. I was very GRUMPY at the beginning of the evening. When you arrive at school by 6:30 a.m. and it’s going to be at least 8:30 p.m. before you leave the building with NO time to go home and feed your own family afterschool, it’s understandable. I really didn’t want to stay. I watched several teachers slip away out the back door and I remembered the PTA’s disappointment that we weren’t going to have 100% teacher participation. At least I’m doing my part, I grumpily thought.

Then my attitude adjustment arrived in the form of former students. Hooray for those high school and middle school older siblings that come back each year for events like this. They love our school. They remember the library. They still love books and every one of them can tell me the name of a book they are currently reading. (So there you doom and gloomers who say our kids don’t choose to read!) They love their former librarian and I’m able to remind them that once I’ve been their librarian, I will always be their librarian. Plus, they remembered the chocolate last year and immediately came to partake.

Look at this image from the Essential Chocolate site. Chocolate, Chocolate, I love you so…..  Brings together happy people and good memories.



    My favorite part of fall festival (our school has spring fling) is also when the former students return. It is amazing to see how they change and grow. I also ask them what they are reading. Today one of my former students was a substitute at the school. It was amazing to see that the child I remembered had become a handsome young man. I love to see my kids as they grow!