PILOT MOUNTAIN — Jane O’Connor’s character of Fancy Nancy would have described the crowd at Westfield Elementary School’s Fancy Nancy family reading night as posh.
Westfield Media Coordinator Jenna Slawter hit upon the idea from previous experiences staging literacy events when she decided to do something that girls would relate with. She chose the character as the evening’s theme.
“Everything we try to do is to encourage family literacy,” explained Slawter. “I wanted to do something special for the girls. I know they love Fancy Nancy, and I knew they’d love to dress up for this.”
Activities for the reading night included board and computer games, snacks, crafts and reading with parents. Students that dressed up in Fancy Nancy inspired costumes for the event received a free book. The event was organized around four stations at the school. Girls could make a bracelet for themselves at one station, the computer games and board games at the other stations were all Nancy themed and the books read by parents were all Fancy Nancy books.
“We are having a lot of fun with this character, but the bottom line is to encourage literacy,” added Slawter. “This also is another way to bring the Westfield community together. The turnout was great and the girls were all so excited.”
Slawter said a family reading event is being planned for boys and will be called camp out with a good book night. No specific date has been set, but she said it will probably take place in November. Slawter said a park ranger will lead the event and activity stations will be planned around an outdoor camping theme.
The Fancy Nancy series debuted in 2005 and spent nearly 100 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller List. The series has 50 books and has sold more than 20 million volumes. The works have been translated into 17 languages. In April, a series aimed at older readers was launched under the name of Nancy Clancy: Super Sleuth. At one point, a musical was being considered. It was to be produced by the Vital Theatre in New York City.
Nancy is a young girl with a larger than life persona who adores all things fancy. She always dresses extravagantly, wearing things like feather boas, tutus and fuzzy slippers. The character also adores using big, fancy words and anything in French. She even decorates her room with Christmas lights, paper flowers and hats.
In the first books of the series, Nancy feels that her family is too ordinary and dresses too plainly and offers them classes in living in a fancy way. Judging by the event’s attendance, it appears Nancy’s family is not the only ones who appreciate having a little girl to keep just that special amount of fancy in their lives.
Reach David Broyles at email@example.com or 719-1952.