Something strange happened at Veritas Prep during the fall. The kindergarten through fifth-grade classes were invaded by beings, like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz and Mary from Mary Poppins, for the school’s first annual Great Hearts, Great Books Day.

“This event is a day of storytelling for faculty, staff and students while dressed up as their favorite literary or historical character studied here,” Director of Operations Ami Hosack said. 

According to Hosack, other Great Hearts schools had already successfully done this event, and she was eager to try it.

“We do a lot of reading at Veritas,” Hosack said, “and we wanted to give the kids a chance to show what their favorite book and character was. Everyone loved it and had fun with it.”

“I chose to dress up as Jo from Little Women,” student Elsa Mandel said. “I love the olden days, and I like the dress my mom had. It’s from the 70s, and someone sewed it! Also, I like that Jo wrote books.” 

“I chose to dress up as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz,” student Dylan Colling said, “because I find the story and the characters to be very enchanting.” 

“Our day included a read-aloud in each class,” Hosack said. “Parents also came in and read, and we also had a costume explanation, poetry in motion, stamina reading, story writing, silent reading and flashlight reading.”

Adults and teachers had as much fun as the students did: 

“I chose Pinocchio because I found when I taught third grade as a homeroom teacher, the students enjoyed the character and could relate to the trials and tribulations he undergoes,” Exceptional Student Services admin Daniela Melcher said. “Plus, he is funny and fantastical enough for younger students to enjoy the fantasy and magic. It’s my favorite book because I’m half Italian, and the author is Italian and it’s a classical story about morals and truth.”

“I was the White Cat for literature day,” said second-grade teacher Taylor Brown. “She comes from a story in Cinderella and Other Stories from the Blue Fairy Book. I wanted to be the White Cat because she’s a character who has a strong and bold personality. She also turns into a princess at the end of the story after the Prince chops off her head. So, I was able to make a fun costume change midday!” 

The White Cat is one of Brown’s favorites because the Prince falls in love with the character’s personality instead of her external beauty. 

“It’s their bond of inner beauty and friendship that binds them together. I also enjoy the plot twist of White Cat losing her head, only to become a beautiful princess in the end,” she said. 

“Growing up, fairy tale stories were some of my favorites,” said second-grade teacher Skylar Marois. “I had to dress up as Cinderella. She’s a classic fairy tale princess, and I was honored to dress like her for a day. Cinderella is a favorite story because it teaches that kindness can overpower anything. Not to mention, she gets to wear a beautiful blue dress!”