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Lillian Schumacher Elementary students celebrate with Icelandic tradition

Pajama, reading day highlight last day before vacation
Lillian Schumacher Elementary School
Posted at 4:00 AM, Dec 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-24 08:15:41-05

LIBERTY, Mo. — Students and their families have navigated a challenging school year, and now are home for the holiday break. And one school in Liberty sent students off with a fun tradition.

The last day before Christmas break at Lillian Schumacher Elementary, is a day for reading a new book, in pajamas – a tradition known as Jolabokaflod.

"I think I heard a story on the radio about Iceland and this magical holiday where people read books and sit by the fireplace and eat chocolate," Megan Bright, the school's library and media specialist, said, "and as a librarian that's like my dream."

And during this most unusual school year, the reading continues with virtual fireplaces instead. All grades and students participate, including one room that featured reading forts. It's a day that's more meaningful this year.

"Many of our kids come from book deserts where they don't have books in their homes," Bright said, "and so sending them home with a book they can read is so important, especially if they get quarantined or stuck at home for long periods."

Bright said that gifting books to children and spending a day reading and "building that internal love of reading" is magical.

Lillian Schumacher partnered with Second Baptist Church for the event – they fully fund the project to make sure every student gets a book before Christmas.