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All Dressed up for Family Literacy Night

Families Gather to Celebrate Reading

Students use cookies and marshmallows to construct their own piglets

It was still two days before Halloween, but as the sun set over the rural city of Homestead, students in full costume descended upon Air Base Elementary School. There was plenty of candy to go around, but tonight's gathering was all about reading. "I need eight plump piggies for my piggie pie," exclaimed teacher Felicia Joseph as she read aloud to a group of students. They pointed and laughed as they followed along.

"Fall into Reading" is one of the seasonal family literacy gatherings held by Air Base Elementary, a Miami-Dade County magnet school. Students dressed up as their favorite characters and moved from room to room where different stories were being read by teachers in full costume. School PTA members sold pizza and hot dogs in the cafeteria where books were also available for purchase. It was a night that let parents forget about rushing home, instead allowing them to spend quality time reading along with their kids. "It really is a good time for everyone," said one parent. "It shatters the old myth that reading can't be fun. Even the parents are having a great time."

Felicia Joseph takes on the characters in 'Piggie Pie'

The students in Ms. Joseph's classroom were read a selection called "Piggie Pie," the story of a witch in search of the elusive piglets she needs for a delicious dessert. After answering questions about the story and noting the absence of the pigs, the students were off to make their own piglets from cookies, Twizzlers, marshmallows and pink icing. The innovative approach was clearly a winner with parents as their children zipped through the hallways in search of the next story.

"Fall into Reading" is one of several reading activities that will take place throughout the year. The month of February will feature "In Love with Books," and other seasonal reading activities will follow in the spring. Reading is fun at Air Base Elementary, and parents know that reading together is the key to keeping it that way.

For more information on Air Base Elementary School, visit