We had an especially exciting day at school yesterday. Thanks to the fifth graders and their mad reading skills, our school won a visit from the one and only Phillie Phanatic!
“WHO??” you may ask.
The Phillie Phanatic is the official mascot for the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team and he is quite a character! Wikipedia refers to the Phanatic as one of the most recognizable mascots. He’s been with the team since 1978 and according to his bio, this 6″6′ furry green bi-ped hails originally from the Galápagos Islands. When he is not busy cheering on the Phillies, the Phanatic enjoys dancing, playing pranks and watching his favorite movie which is, of course, “Rocky!”
The students were humming with anticipation as we gathered in the gym to meet the Phanatic. We were greeted by his “Squad” from the Phillies and were told that he was running a little late so they asked our principle, a very enthusiastic lady and a rather good sport, to read a book to the children while they waited for their guest to show up. Well, of course, as she was reading to the children, the Phanatic snuck in behind her and started doing silly dance moves! The kids pointed and laughed but the principle played right along and pretended that she didn’t understand why they were laughing. Eventually, the Phanatic revealed himself and gave the her a big phuzzy Phanatic kiss!
The Phanatic’s Squad talked more about the importance of reading everyday and then they congratulated the fifth grade students on their achievement. The class was then asked to come up and have their photo taken with the Phanatic. Finally, the big green guy himself led us all in a group dance-along to the song “Happy.” He even pulled several teachers and staff members out to dance with him. He sure has some great moves!!
When ever we go to a Phillies game, one of my favorite parts is when the Phanatic makes his appearance. I can’t believe some of the mischief he gets up to! He usually rides a four wheeler out on to the field before the games and our neighbor, Doug, who works part-time for the Phillies, happens to be the guy in charge of opening the gate to let the Phanatic on and off the field. I always wished that I could do that job for one night just so I could get a close up view of the big green dude’s crazy antics.
Now, all of us at the school can say that we did get to see the Philly Phanatic up close and personal and it was all thanks to the magic of reading!! If you would like some more information about this fun, educational, literacy program visit the Phillies web site and check out “Phanatic About Reading!”
The Weekly Smile is brought to you courtesy of Trent’s World. Stop by and collect a few more smiles or perhaps share one of you own!