Head of School delivers timely holiday message in reading of 'The Polar Express'
Posted 12/20/2017 08:45AM

Wearing holiday-themed pajamas and filled with holiday cheer, Lower School students at The Oakridge School delighted in a reading of The Polar Express by Head of School Jon Kellam.

Mrs. Kristin Davis, Mrs. Jody Brown, and Mrs. Jamie McCarver, all first-grade teachers, hosted Mr. Kellam in their respective classrooms just two days ahead of the start to the winter break. Tuesday marked Mr. Kellam's first time serving as a guest reader in the classes.

"I have a great appreciation for this book and the imagery that it evokes," said Mr. Kellam, a former English teacher who has served as Head of School for 11 years. "No matter your age, The Polar Express reminds both children and adults that the world is full of wonder if we will only search for it, listen, and believe."

The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg, is about a boy who reaches an age when he begins to have doubts believing in Santa. Late one Christmas Eve, the boy is lying awake waiting for the sound of sleigh bells ringing from Santa's sleigh. He looks out his window and is astounded to see a steam engine parked in front of his house. He takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, and embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.

Awarded the prestigious Caldecott Medal in 1986, The Polar Express has sold more than 12 million copies, become a classic holiday movie, and been translated into stage productions that take place across the United States during the holiday season.

After Mr. Kellam finished reading, the first grade students completed activities centered on the book, watched the movie and compared the two. Along the way, the children enjoyed hot cocoa and popcorn.

The Oakridge School will be on winter break from Dec. 21 to Jan. 8, 2018. View the school calendar here. Learn more about The Oakridge School at

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