BRISTOL, Tenn. — Students and teachers at Avoca Elementary School on Friday played a unique game of glow-in-the-dark Pac-Man to kick off this year’s reading goals.

Library Media Specialist Sarah Cross came up with the Pac-Man and ’80s theme. In order to speak about reading goals, Cross creates an event that students can enjoy. Last year, the students enjoyed a military theme.

Students and staff were invited to dress up in 1980s clothing on Friday in anticipation of the Pac-Man event in the afternoon.

Cross said maintenance staff covered the gymnasium’s large windows with black plastic while teachers and other staff placed glow-in-the-dark materials on the floor. There were also black lights and balloons.

At 1:45 p.m., the school’s children entered the gymnasium, where ’80s tunes like “Eye of the Tiger,” “Beat It,” and “Livin’ on a Prayer” blared from speakers.

Cross and other teachers, as well as many of the students, looked like they stepped out of a time machine from the ’80s.

Principal Vonda Beavers said the event brought back a lot of memories.

“Our library media specialist is, and our whole arts team, works really hard to bring the love of reading to our boys and girls,” Beavers said. “If they love reading, they can go anywhere they want to go.”

Beavers said Avoca often hosts special events to educate children.

Four students who read the most this past summer participated in the event, playing the part of Pac-Man. It was their job to pick up the most glow-in-the-dark pellets during the game.

But they faced two “ghosts,” played by teachers Jana Haun, who Cross described as a bit of a Pac-Man fan, and Dustin Pannell.

The ’80s theme will continue through the year as students try to reach their reading goals. The students who read the most from each grade will win prizes, Cross said.

Students seemed to enjoy the festivities Friday afternoon, cheering on the game participants and rooting on each other to read.

rsorrell@bristolnews.com | 276-645-2531 | Twitter: @RSorrellBHC | Facebook.com/robertsorrelltn

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