The conductor (AKA Principal Dean Brinkman) read the book The Polar Express to children in grades kindergarten through four on Friday at Ottawa Elementary. (Becky Leader/Putnam Sentinel)
OTTAWA - "All aboard for the Polar Express!"
The "conductor," Ottawa Elementary Principal Dean Brinkman, roamed the halls of the school last Friday, tweeting his whistle, bellowing an alert to the children that the Polar Express was about to leave. The conductor traveled to individual classrooms, greeted by children and teachers, many who were dressed in pajamas and slippers. He punched each child's ticket, while shouting instructions to board the train.Students in kindergarten through fourth grades giggled and whispered excitedly as they made their way to the "train," which was set up in the gymnasium. It was hard to tell who was more excited, the children or their teachers. The Polar Express engine, crafted from wood and painted, was at the front of the room. The conductor read The Polar Express to his attentive passengers, as the pages were projected on the wall so all could see the illustrations. The story is about a young boy who boards the Polar Express to the North Pole and confirms his belief in the spirit of Christmas. Suddenly, Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived at OE, with goodie bags they distributed to each teacher. The jolly couple sauntered through the crowd, stopping to wish children "Merry Christmas."
Kindergarten teacher Cindy Moser said the teachers worked together to bring this event to the children. "I liked that we all worked together as a team so the children could experience this," she concluded.