By Ms. Elyssa Vondra (Jackson)March 1, 2019
Today is the last day to tune in for Goodnight School, a bedtime story series read live on Facebook by Fort Jackson teachers and installation leadership.
Brought back by popular demand for a second year, Goodnight School is one way Pierce Terrace Elementary School and C.C. Pinckney Elementary School celebrate the National Education Association's Read Across America season.
Last year's videos were viewed a combined 5,900 times.
"It was unbelievable," said Kerrie Ammons, C.C. Pinckney speech pathologist.
This year, from Feb. 24-28, the reading lineup included Fort Jackson commander Brig. Gen. Milford H. "Beags" Beagle, Jr., Col. Stephen Elder, Fort Jackson garrison commander, and Fort Jackson teachers.
Randy James, sixth grade teacher, one of this year's first-time readers, admitted he was a bit nervous about using the technology to go live on Facebook.
If anything were to go wrong, Jackson said it felt like "hundreds of thousands of people (would) see it." The phrase "Facebook live" gave her butterflies, she said.
Elder showed no fear, decking himself out in a Dr. Seuss hat, equipped with props to read "Oh, the Places You'll Go" on Monday. He has a reputation to protect. Elder, a second time Goodnight School reader, had the highest view count of all participants last year.
His 2018 video was watched 1,500 times.
To catch the last stories of 2019 live tonight, Feb. 28, parents can log in to Facebook and head to one of the post school's parent teacher organization pages -- Pierce Terrace PTO or C.C. Pinckney PTO.
Pierce Terrace goes live at 7 p.m., and C.C. Pinckney takes the stage at 7:30 p.m.
Every night, one of the readers shared a book highlighting diverse characters.
"We are celebrating diversity," Ammons said. "Military children are very diverse."
Books don't often portray that, Ammons said, so they had to make some out-of-the-box selections.
Third grade teacher Erika Jackson took that challenge one step further.
Tonight Jackson will be reading the book she recently self-published.
"I would be remiss not to share," Jackson said.
Her book, "21st Century Hands," encourages kids to be comfortable with their physical imperfections. The main character learns how to move past her wrinkly hands to accomplish her goals, Jackson said.
Pierce Terrace Elementary School's Facebook feed will feature a mystery reader this evening.
Yesterday, second grade teacher Patty Cleveland read "50 Cents and a Dream," a picture biography of young Booker T. Washington.
"My children in my classroom helped me pick it out," Cleveland said. It was their favorite of the books she read in commemoration of African American/Black History Month.