PTO movie night shines with glow sticks, ‘Night at the Museum’

Deanna Stevens

It wasn’t the usual scene at Franklin Elementary School’s gym on Friday night.

Instead of bats and balls, the floor was filled with blankets. Fold-out chairs lined the walls and there was a big movie screen at the head of the room.

However, one thing was the same – children running around having a good time, at least until the movie started.

Friday marked the second Franklin Family Movie Night, sponsored by the Parent Teacher Organization. Night at the Museum was the featured film, but a certain door prize was the big hit.

“Glow sticks, glow sticks, glow sticks” said movie night coordinator Dena Ferner. “One can never have too many glow sticks.”

About 100 people were in attendance, and each person received a glow stick at the door, along with a free water bottle, a bag of candy and popcorn to enjoy during the movie.

Ferner said that at the first movie night earlier this year the children could take as many glow sticks as they wanted. But this time the PTO decided to cut down on the commotion during the movie and limited everybody to just one.

Franklin principal Denice Gore said the turnout was pretty good, considering a lot of the students went to another event earlier that day.

“We had ice skating at the Ice Arena (at Kent State) earlier today, and a lot of the kids were at that,” Gore said. “So a lot of the parents picked the children up, went home, ate dinner and came here.”

But the night was about more than just dozens of little glow-in-the-dark wrists. It was an opportunity to give back to the parents as well as the kids.

“The PTO typically asks the parents for money,” PTO co-President Tracey Montanari said. “So we thought it would be nice to have one or two events that were totally free.”

Kindergartner Bill Wolford brought his mom, Lori, and his “grammy,” Mary Jo Mercer, to see the movie with him.

“I never, ever went to a movie night,” Wolford said.

Lori Wolford missed the first movie night as well, but she said she decided to go because of what they missed.

“We heard it was really fun, so we said, ‘OK, we’ll try it,'” Wolford said.

Dave Slonovitz came with his daughters, fourthgrader Kaitlin, and eighth-grader Megan.

“I think it’s a great event to get families together,” Slonovitz said.

He added that the events thrown by the PTO are perfect times to let the children run around but keep them all in one place for the parents benefit.

The affair was kind of a homecoming for Vickie and Ric LeMaster, who escorted their grandson Jonathan, who’s in the third grade at Franklin.

LeMaster said she used to be involved with the PTO when her children were younger. She added it was a great organization because it built camaraderie between the parents when it came to looking after their children.

Gore said the PTO was “outstanding” in its ability to come up with ideas to make the school a fun place with its extracurricular activities.

Contact public affair reporter Deanna Stevens at [email protected].