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Students get into character for parade
A students becomes Hannah Montana for Friday's parade at Button Gwinnett Elementary. - photo by Photo by Seraine Page

Hannah Montana, Little Red Riding Hood and even Santa Claus came to town on Friday.
In celebration of National Book Week, Button Gwinnett Elementary School students dressed up as their favorite book characters and marched around the school with books in hand.
Several classes wore red paper bowties and tall striped hats to represent Dr. Seuss’ famous troublemaking feline, “The Cat in the Hat.” The children hoisted their books above their heads as they paraded through the halls.
Media specialist Tory Baker said that for as long as she can remember, the school has allowed students to dress up and stride around various wings of the school the week before Thanksgiving, wrapping up a week dedicated to literacy. Baker has been at the school for 12 years and said she always enjoys the parade
and National Book Week.
“They can go places they may never go otherwise,” she said of the importance of reading. “It’s just a chance for us to get them motivated to keep reading.”
Kehealani Teague, 9, said she loves reading and thinks she has read about 20 books in her young life, maybe more.
“Reading can make you more smart and then you can learn more,” the fourth-grader said. “I have a lot of books.”
Teague dressed up as “Bad Kitty” from her favorite book “Bad Kitty vs. Uncle Murray” and said the best part of the parade was walking past the kindergarteners who high-fived the fourth-graders as they made their way down the hall.
Baker encourages parents to read with their children every night to ensure students are reading at grade level. She said she sits down with her own daughter and a book every evening.
“It builds bonds between families,” the media specialist said. “I keep lots of books around.”
Elementary students’ favorite books seem to be the Junie B. Jones and the Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series, Baker said.
Krystell Sanchez, 8, dressed as Fancy Nancy, a character who loves dressing up in tiaras and sparkly high heels. Sanchez also sported a “Best Reader” pin, just like the character in the book.
“When I stay home and don’t feel like doing anything, I like to read,” she said. “It entertains you.”
Button Gwinnett administrators also invited guest readers to drop in throughout the week and read to classes — a treat designed to get students excited about reading.
On Wednesday, students were allowed to wear cozy pajamas to school as part of the “curl up and read” campaign. It created a more comfortable reading environment, Baker said.
About 200 students dressed up for the parade and many staff members followed suit, making it a fun event for the whole school, Baker said.
“It is just a time to celebrate reading and keep reading good books.”

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