Some girls came with bunny slippers. One boy had an action figure emblazoned on his shirt, and a dad had on basic blue-plaid flannel. It was a pajama party to be sure, but the location and reason for the nightime soiree were anything but typical.


"It's my fifth-annual," Mesquite Trails first-grade teacher Natalie Moncada said about her pajama reading party in the school's library. "It's a culimating event for the year."


The reason for the festive event, which featured plenty of hot chocolate, popcorn, brownies and fruit, was to celebrate students' love of reading.


"We're a very close class. We've developed a love for school. This is a great treat for them."


Perhaps the greatest testimony was the attendance of student Savannah Stacy, who passed up a chance to have her own birthday party at home. Instead, she chose to spend her big day - and night - at school.


"She cried, 'But I want to go to the pajama party,'" her mother Rose Jerzykowski said.


Stacy previously was in another first grade class, but her reading abilities soared when she enrolled in Moncada's.


"Mom, I can read!" her mother says Stacy exclaimed one day.


"Now when she's at home she wants to read," Jerzykowski said.


Others were also as keen about the event.


"We have one lady who brought nine kids," according to Moncada.


The Kroeger family was there, all in their PJ's.


Student Zack was especially excited to show his parents how he takes a computerized quiz after reading a book. And he and other Mesquite Trails students get positive feedback for their endeavors.


"They have cool prizes," Zack exclaimed.


During Moncada's 14 years as a teacher, she has spent the bulk of her time teaching the younger students. The pajama reading party affirms her belief that she is in the right place.


"God made me to be a first-grade teacher, I know that."