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fairytale event for pre-k and kinder - Once Upon a Time
Posted in , on May 1, 2024

Kids dress in fairytale costumes

“It was beautiful,” Princess Aurora said.

That’s not usually how the Arlington ISD’s Professional Development Center is described.

But Sleeping Beauty – also known as Dr. Jackeline Orsini, Arlington ISD director of early childhood learning – was right.fairytale event for pre-k and kinder - Once Upon a Time

It was magical for dozens of pre-K and kindergarten-age children.

Arlington ISD’s early childhood learning department put on Once Upon a Time last week at the PDC, a fairytale-themed event designed to encourage little learners and their families to read.

Many of the kids came dressed as princesses and princes – or Spiderman – and couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Belle and other characters from their favorite stories. Most posed with wide eyes for pictures with the princesses they thought were real before heading off to lots of fun activities.

fairytale event Once Upon a Time. Pre-K teacher reads "Billy Goat Gruff."The activities were all storybook themed. In one room, Moore Elementary pre-K teacher Debbie Modawell read the story “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” and helped the kids act it out with puppets. She even had a bridge for the billy goats to walk over.

“Who’s that trip trapping over my bridge,” said the little girl playing the troll.

“It is I, the medium-sized goat,” answered the little girl who had just trip trapped over the bridge.

Modawell read the story over and over again during the event, each time for a different audience, but she loved it every time.

“It’s my favorite story,” she said. “The kids get to really get into it and be the troll and use the puppets. It brings them out of their shell and helps them make connections with literature.”

Making connections with literature was what the night was all about.

“We had the event to let parents know how important literacy is at school and at home,” said Ana Biederstedt, an Arlington ISD early learning specialist who was dressed as one of the three little pigs. “Reading books helps kids vocabulary grow and their knowledge will grow.”

fairytale event for pre-k and kinder - Once Upon a TimeIn another room, kids listened to the story of “The Three Little Pigs.” And other rooms featured story-book-themed activities, arts, crafts and dramatic play.

“I’m using the marshmallows for a cushion,” said one little princess as she made Goldilocks’ bed.

Nearby, boys and girls donned armor with foam shields and swords and acted out their own fairytale adventures. Others built castles with blocks and Legos.

All took home books and were inspired to read and dream. And everyone had a great time.

Even the big bad wolf (also known as early learning specialist Ken Foster).

See more photos from Once Upon a Time.

Register for pre-K or kindergarten

Once Upon a Time was just a taste of Arlington ISD’s pre-K and kindergarten programs where literacy and fun are huge themes every day.

Register your child today for pre-K or kindergarten next school year. You can start the registration process online here.

Learn more at or and feel free to contact the pre-K team at (682) 867-9418, or with any of your questions.

And check out this post with lots of important dates and details about registration.