By Curt Yeomans
The excitement of the children was beginning to simmer 35 minutes before the Lee Street Elementary School Campus Kids' sleepover started on Friday.
The sleepover did not begin until 6:30 p.m., but as the time approached , a small group of girls were holding hands as they jumped up and down in the school cafeteria with big, bright, beaming smiles, screaming "It's 5:55! It's 5:55!"
There was no doubt the 47 children, from kindergartners through fifth-graders, were revved up about having a giant sleepover at the school.
Throughout the hour before the event began, while the regular Campus Kids after-school program was still going on, the sleepover was all the kids could talk about. The sleepover was the last big hurrah for the children before the 2007-08 school year ends next week.
"I thought we might get 10, 20 students sign up for it, but we ended up having a really big turnout," said Elida McLean, the coordinator for the Lee Street Campus Kids program. "I had a lot of parents come up to me [Friday] morning with the biggest smiles on their faces, because they were going to get a night without the kids."
The children had plenty of options for fun. They had movies, games and makeovers. They had tacos and pizzas for dinner on Friday night, and homemade pancakes on Saturday morning.
They began each meal by saying the ritual "rub-a-dub-dub, thanks for the grub."
Of course, the children got to partake in the sleepover ritual of everyone getting into a colossal pillow fight - their pillow fight was in the middle of the school's media center. Big fluffy pillows sliced through the air while the children were surrounded by literary classics, such as "The Cat in the Hat" and "See Spot Run."
However, the events most children seem to looked forward to was, either the video games, or the makeover, depending on whether you talked to the boys or the girls.
"I'm looking forward to staying up all nigh ... by drinking lots of caffeine and eating lots of sweets," said Brandon Bedford, a fifth-grader at the school.
"I'm excited about getting to play with the makeup, because you get to put it all over your friends' faces and make them look pretty," said third-grader Jada Vines.