ShareThis Page

Duquesne Education Center prepares 'Polar Express' pajama party

| Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, 3:22 a.m.
Duquesne Education Center nurse Maureen Callas hands out pajamas to kindergartner Julian Smith, seated, as well as, standing from left, second-grader Shawna Walker, kindergartner Krystal Coto and first-graders Julia Gilbert and Kato Williams. Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
Duquesne Education Center dispatcher/security officer Leroy Taylor helps Head Start teacher Darcy Register unload books donated by Barnes & Noble at Settlers Ridge to the Allegheny Intermediate Unit. Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
Duquesne Education Center dispatcher/security officer Leroy Taylor helps Head Start teacher Darcy Register unload books donated by Barnes & Noble at Settlers Ridge to the Allegheny Intermediate Unit. Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
Duquesne Education Center nurse Maureen Callas hands out pajamas to kindergartner Julian Smith, seated, as well as, standing from left, second-grader Shawna Walker, kindergartner Krystal Coto and first-graders Julia Gilbert and Kato Williams. Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News

“The Polar Express” is coming to Duquesne Education Center.

On Dec. 20, golden tickets will admit some lucky — and well-behaved — youngsters to a pajama party.

They'll see the animated 2004 holiday movie featuring Tom Hanks voicing six different characters, including the conductor of the North Pole train.

“It's our responsibility to set up rewards for the children who demonstrate good behavior and make good decisions,” said Maureen Callas, school nurse and a member of the School-Wide Positive Behavior Team at the Duquesne public school.

Good decisions include the pursuit of reading, writing and arithmetic.

“We do our letters every morning,” kindergarten student Krystal Coto said. “I practice my letters at home and I have a number book.”

The pajamas are donated through an Angel Tree effort by Girl Scout Troop 57531. Callas is a leader of that troop at St. Margaret of Scotland Church in Green Tree.

“We have 72 pairs of pajamas we are going to raffle off,” Callas said.

The party also will feature “a secret surprise from Santa,” as well as hot chocolate.

“I like my chocolate with marshmallows,” said Julian Smith, one of the kindergartners competing for the pajamas and tickets.

And it is a learning process.

“They're going to do in-classroom activities that are related to the movie,” Callas said. Those activities will be geared to each level in a school covering kindergarten through grade 6.

As the pajamas came out on Tuesday in Duquesne Education Center, so did a box of books for other youngsters there. Sarah McCluan, spokeswoman for the district and Homestead-based Allegheny Intermediate Unit, was hauling a box loaded with children's books for three Head Start classrooms serving 60 youngsters.

“Since Halloween, the Barnes and Noble Settlers Ridge location has been encouraging its customers to purchase books for children enrolled in the AIU's Early Childhood Education programs, Head Start, Early Head Start and Pre-K Counts,” McCluan said.

“The goal is to gather enough donations so that each of the 1,972 children enrolled in the AIU's Early Childhood Education programs can receive two books for Christmas,” McCluan said. “So far about 2,000 books have been collected and distributed by the AIU to children and families across the county.”

The books range in price from $4 to $16.

McCluan said the collection will continue until early January. While Barnes and Noble has other outlets, including one in the Waterfront near the AIU offices, the store at 800 Settlers Ridge Center Drive, off the Parkway West Exit 61, is the only one participating with the AIU.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or pcloonan@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.