Gleason School Hosts Family Reading Night

When Gleason School Principal Lee Lawrence offered to help the school librarian (and his wife) Amy Lawrence with “whatever you need me to do,” he might not have suspected the request would be such a “sweet” one. But on Thursday night, he fulfilled his commitment as he stood before the crowd of 170 students and parents who came out for the school’s first Family Reading Night.

Dressed as a gingerbread man, Patterson helped make the pages of the familiar tale come to life as he popped from behind the curtain in the school’s gym and made his way through a display of 20 candy-shaped balloons, boxes of candy and 25 “sweet” books to be given away.

Gleason administration and faculty organized the event, which was sponsored by the Gleason School Library, in an effort to increase parental involvement and to encourage family reading. The theme for Family Reading Night this year was “Reading is Sweet.”

Amy Lawrence welcomed the crowd attired as a monkey reflecting her love for Curious George from the H.A. Rey series. Principal Lawrence and 5th grade teacher Jacob Canada, both in costume helped act out the pages of The Gingerbread Man, as Amy read the story aloud.

Guests were invited to dress up as their favorite book character. Those who came in costume treated the crowd to a Character Parade. Next, students and their families traveled to story areas, where special guest readers read to the groups.   Each book was a spin-off of the original gingerbread man story: The Gingerbread Girl, The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School, and Gingerbread Baby. Guest readers were literacy leader Paige Vaughn, physical education teacher Jason Stephens, and first grade teacher April Corbin.

After story time, families were invited to the cafeteria, where students created a “sweet” craft by decorating gingerbread people with googly eyes. As they left the event, families were treated to cupcakes from Simply Southern Café, a scented candy bookmark, and a flyer promoting fun and easy ways to incorporate reading into daily home activities.

“We’ve wanted to try a Family Reading Night for some time now,” said Principal Lawrence. “And I would like to thank Mrs. Amy for her organization of this event, as well as, all of our teachers for their help in making the night a success.  Our recent parent survey also indicated this was something parents and community members would enjoy as well.  We are very pleased with the turnout for this initial event and hope to see it grow and prosper in the future.”

The Weakley County Press depends on community residents notifying us of upcoming events. When we cannot attend, receiving photos and recaps are critical. We thank Gleason School for providing the photos seen here. If you have news we need to know about, email 

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