VALDOSTA -- A holiday wish for most Southern children came true for a few Friday when it snowed on the campus of S.L. Mason Elementary School.

"I have never seen snow before," said Taylor Ward, 7. "I am excited we get to play in it."

In a flash she was off, joined by all of her fellow second-graders. And as the snowballs were constructed and thrown, the children ran around and around, screaming with delight.

"It's really cold," Donald Fulton Jr., 8, said as he took a break to warm his hands. "I have never played in it before. I actually thought it might be a little warmer."

A second or two later, he was off again, hitting Samantha Hamilton, 8, with a loosely-packed ball of snow. Wearing purple Power Puff Girls pajamas and jumping up and down, she screamed, "It's cold. It's cold."

Others flopped down into the snow, waving their arms and legs, eager to create snow angels.

"I have never made a snow angel before today," said Zachary Goddard, 7. "It was fun and very cold."

The idea for the snow day came from Assistant Principal Janice Richardson, who enjoys making childhood dreams a reality.

"We wanted to do something for the kids," said Principal John Davis. "They have worked so hard this year. We wanted them to know that while academics are important, socializing and having fun are important, too."

The entire S.L. Mason Elementary School family was encouraged to come to school Friday wearing comfy pajamas, prepared for a day of holiday fun. Davis was no exception, wearing red, flannel pants and yellow Bart Simpson bedroom shoes.

"We read stories, including 'Twas the Night Before Christmas,' and sang songs today as well," Davis added. "It's been a fun day."

The students were dismissed at 2 p.m. for the holiday break. They will return on Jan. 12.

The snow was created by the Adel Ice Co.

To contact reporter Jessica Pope, please call 244-3400, ext. 255.

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