WEEKI WACHEE — Normally, pajamas are not not considered acceptable attire in the classroom. But once in a while, for a special occasion, students, teachers and even parents are welcome to come to school in their comfy clothes.
Winding Waters K-8 School's tribute to Dr. Seuss — Snoozapalooza — was one such event, and many attendees took full advantage of the relaxed dress code.
The school's mall area was filled with tables covered with Dr. Seuss-related activities, staffed by volunteering teachers and Winding Waters middle-school students. The middle-school news crew wandered around chronicling the event.
In a corner under the stairs in a cozy corner, a teacher waited to read aloud. Another table, the "Hop on Popcorn Bar," beckoned visitors with popcorn, M&M's, goldfish, pretzels, cheese balls and Kool-Aid.
Across the way, students could take pompoms and pipe cleaners to create truffula trees. They first put clay in domed cup lids, added glitter (because everything looks better with glitter) and inserted the trees to make little truffula landscapes.
A popular table was the one dedicated to writing thank-you notes to the principal, Dave Dannemiller. A sign on the table read:
"Write a message of thanks
For all that he does.
He's one special dude.
At least, that's the buzz."
Fifth-grader Madison Danna, 10, liked the thank-the-principal table.
"I said, 'I think you're the best principal ever,' " she said.
Madison's sister, first-grader Morgan Danna, 6, preferred the truffula tree-making activity. Her favorite Dr. Seuss book is Green Eggs and Ham.
Other activities included coloring, word searches, mazes, rhyming and "Cat in the Hat" skin decals.
A very well-visited table was Cindy Lou Who's nail salon, a place to stop and get fingernails painted. Weeki Wachee High School junior Sam Cooper, 16, was volunteering at the nail salon.
"My mom works here," he said. "I figured if I was here, I might have some fun with it. This seemed like the most fun place."
Seventh-grader Madeline Jean-Marie, 13, also helped out at the nail table.
"I'm here to help our school," she said. "It's fun giving back to the community. I do like doing nails."
Nearby, kindergarten teacher Misty Laushot was helping children make Lorax hats.
"I always volunteer to come to everything," she said. "How can you not?"
Circling around, another activity was a mini science lesson — truffula tree planting. They weren't really tree seeds; they were sunflower seeds. Students took paper cups, put in soil and tucked in the seeds. They were given those to take home.
The evening was a hit with children and parents alike.
"I think it's great," said parent Michael Danna. "It's a good chance to do some activities."
Said parent Amanda Varney: "I like it. It's nice. There are different activities; the kids get interested in reading."
Her daughter, third-grader Summer McDow, 9, enjoyed it, too.
"It's really fun, and there's a lot of people coming to school," she said, "and I get to wear my pajamas instead of regular clothes."