LP Brown hosts ‘Books Before Bed’ family night

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LP Brown hosts ‘Books Before Bed’ family night
Sheriff Snaza welcomes students to 'Books Before Bed' eventA cold winter’s night didn’t prevent more than 160 people, many of them students dressed in comfy pajamas and carrying their favorite stuffed animals, from enjoying a “Books Before Bed” family night at LP Brown Elementary School.

An overflow crowd filled the school office and spilled into the foyer earlier this month as families waited for the library and two classroom doors to open. Inside, first responders from the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office and McLane Black Lake Fire Station, all of them dressed in uniform, waited to read aloud to students.

As families waited for storytime to begin, children selected a free book to take home from among dozens of popular titles displayed on an entry table by the South Sound Reading Foundation.

Students laughing at 'Books Before Bed'With their new books in hand, students cheered as the doors opened to the library. Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza welcomed guests and fist-bumped one student who walked in wearing bright yellow Pikachu pajamas. Other students wore outfits featuring reindeer, super heroes, fire trucks and snowmen and quickly took a spot on the floor or on family members’ laps to hear the first story.

Snaza and his colleagues handed out shiny gold sheriff badge stickers to the children before reading “Winter Barn,” by Dorothy Ripley. The story describes how a farmer smells snow one brisk winter night. The next morning, the whole farm is cloaked in white, and the snow keeps falling. Hands shot in the air and children squealed as Snaza asked families if anyone thought it was going to snow locally.

Down the hall in a computer lab and classroom pod area, firefighters shared books including popular children’s classics such as “The Polar Express.”

After the first round of stories, first responders joined families in the cafeteria to enjoy cocoa and cookies, make snowflakes and decorate cards. The hour-long event concluded with an additional story being read before students headed home for bed.

“The families had a lot of fun — the kids were talking all about it the next day at school,” said Washington Reading Corps volunteer Chloe Meyer, who coordinated the event with school reading specialists Devin Alexander and Julie Tracht.

Thank you to the many LP Brown families who attended the event. Special thanks, also, to the seven first responders who shared the joy of reading with students: Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza and his colleagues Undersheriff Tim Braniff, Chief Dave Pearsall and Lt. Ray Brady; and firefighters Wyatt Frantz, Stefan Latimer and Erich Tyler.