On Friday, March 17th, the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) of P. S. 109 The Glenwood Academy, located at 1001 East 45th Street, hosted a “Pajamas With Books” event, as part of the school’s Women’s History Month celebration. It featured female author Ruth Fleury who read from her illustrated book, Hyper Kid, So They Say!
The event was the second held in four weeks and organized with the aim of fostering literacy in children (see “Pajamas and Books Galore in P.S. 109 Library,” Canarsie Courier, January 19, 2023). Parents accompanying young students dressed in pajamas crammed into the school’s library where the reading occurred. PTA President Leslie-Ann Angus-Torres explained, “We wanted to have a way that the kids could feel comfy and enjoy a book, usually at bedtime, to encourage the parents to read with them and foster that love for literacy.”
Hyper Kid, So They Say! tells the story of an overly energetic young boy who always ran instead of walked, in the hallway, on his way to class. He was reprimanded by his teacher, but soon after, he was caught doing the same thing. On that occasion, unbeknownst to the teacher, the boy was trying to escape from a classmate who was chasing him. Needless to say, he was punished for refusing to follow rules and labeled “hyper.”
Fleury, a former kindergarten teacher and mother of five, said the inspiration for her book came from the children that she worked with in the past as well as her own son who were all very “energetic” and “misunderstood.” The Early Childhood educator stated, “It’s all about being patient. I decided to write this book, just seeing the kids and wanting to give them a voice so that they are included.”
One parent named Feda said she believes the book would help those “misunderstood” children to communicate better with others.
Assistant Principal Simone Murray, who supervises grades K-5, said, “We want the children to read and have that love for literacy. It’s nice to see them engage.” Her colleague Madison Williams, who oversees grades 6-8, agreed, stating, “Our major theme is promoting literacy through all avenues. As you can see, the children are having a great time. To make that connection between reading and fun is definitely something that will benefit them in the long term.”
After the reading, the students were treated to pizza and light refreshments before playtime. The PTA gave away school supplies, and everyone was allowed to choose as many books as they wanted from a collection of 500 that were donated for the occasion by the Brooklyn Book Bodega.