Captain Jack Sparrow and a young protégé glare into the camera and squint menacingly.
“Arrgghh!” they say, pirate-style, through gritted teeth, ending with distinctly unpirate-like smiles.
It’s Literacy Night at the Dr. Charles E. Murphy Elementary School, and the Pirates of the Caribbean is the theme.
There are photos with the aforementioned Jack Sparrow, a/k/a Torin Radicioni, 18, a cheerful Montville High School student and Murphy alumnus.
There’s a bookmark-making station, a book fair, and a table where kids who have done their Reading Hall of Fame reading – and can prove it with their reading log – get a free book.
There’s a table where author Christina Cody is signing books and bookmarks, and selling “The Perfectly Imperfect Pumpkin” and “The Pirate Scope,” and preparing for her author’s presentation, and reading of “The Pirate Scope.”
Michele Lathrop and Brenda MacNamara are telling stories, Tom Jeffers is singing sea shanties, and poets are reading and slamming away.
The whole school is dedicated to reading on this Thursday evening, and it’s a family celebration. Hundreds of parents and pupils jam the hallways, crowd the bookmark tables, listen with rapt attention to Cody as she talks about writing and editing, and crowd the book fair.
The reading incentive program runs from January through April, says teacher Mary Ellen Kane. It focuses not only on how much the students read, she says, but also on the genres of book they read.
It’s the second annual literacy night the school has held.