Friday, March 18, 2011

Leprechaun Reads To Over 600 Students

Leprechaun at Kindergarten Center
James Croft, 3'10" tall evangelist from Olustee, Florida, made appearances as a "real" leprechaun at two schools for St. Patrick's Day.  Approximately 600 students at Baker County Pre-K/Kindergarten Center heard the leprechaun read them a book, That's What Leprechauns Do, and answer their questions.  The questions covered a variety of topics.

When asked why he was so little, the leprechaun responded, "that's just the way God made me."

Students also wanted to know what leprechauns eat, why do they play tricks on people, and of course, where do they hide their gold?  The leprechaun held a gold plated 4-leaf clover paperweight as he talked about his gold.  This piece of gold was donated to the leprechaun for use in these presentations by Pastor Danny Garrett of Cudd Memorial Baptist Church in Spartanburg, South Carolina.  The leprechaun made a pre-St. Patrick's Day appearance at a daycare center in Boiling Springs with Pastor Garrett last week.  Photos from the event are viewable in the Spartanburg, SC 2011 photo album.

After leaving the kindergarten center, the leprechaun visited Keller Intermediate School to read to four 5th grade classes taught by Sonja St. John, Melissa Smith, Jennifer Hite and Amy Prescott.

Many of the questions asked by the 5th graders included: "Do you eat Lucky Charms", "where do you hide your gold" and "why don't you give your gold away?"

One student asked, "how fast can you run?"  The leprechaun demonstrated by running to the front office and back to the classroom.  Students were amazed because he was so fast it looked as though he didn't even move!  The leprechaun told students, "I am so fast... that I'm sudden!"

Croft has been reading to students as a leprechaun for several years on St. Patrick's Day.  The event is always a hit with students and much talked about afterward.  Croft says he often meets up with students from past reading sessions and they still call him "the leprechaun".  He often has to explain to parents why the children are referring to him by that name.

Jessie Thompson with leprechaun
In 2009 a video called "A Visit From The Leprechaun" was produced by Florida Times-Union photojournalist Jon M. Fletcher about the annual reading event.  This video is viewable on the James Croft Evangelist Association's YouTube channel.

After a long day of "leprechauning" around town, he visited with a couple of families before returning to his home located somewhere deep in the Osceola National Forest.

NOTE: View all of the leprechaun's St. Patrick's Day photos in the "Leprechaun 2011" photo gallery.

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