LEESVILLE - More than 350 parents, students and educators attended the Family Fall Festival at Parkway Elementary School Nov. 1 in Leesville, Louisiana. The event was meant to instill a love of reading to families in attendance and promote the school's book fair.

"It was a night of celebrating both our community and families, but also celebrating reading," said Dione Bradford, Parkway Elementary School principal.

Classroom doors were decorated based on the teachers' favorite books. The festival consisted of various games themed after story books, face painting, caricature painting and more.

Characters from famous stories were also in attendance, including Willy Wonka and Violet Beauregarde.

Admission to the event was two canned goods per family for a local holiday food drive.

Attendees were also invited to look through the school's book fair, read some stories and purchase some books.

Bradford said that she hopes attendees went home from the event thinking that "reading is fun."

"Reading can be experienced through games, thinking and listening, or simply stopping by our book fair," Bradford said.

Fort Polk Garrison Commander Col. Jarrett A. Thomas II, his spouse, Telisha, and Fort Polk Garrison Command Sergeant Major Jerry L. Dodson, Jr., also joined in the festivities.

"It was a fantastic event filled with educational, yet fun entertainment for the kids," said Telisha Thomas. "It was also a great opportunity for parents to interact with the teachers and school staff."

Bradford agreed that the event served as an opportunity to bring the school and the community together.

"Because of our school culture we have so many kids moving in and out. We have a lot of new folks who have never had an opportunity to come in and see what Parkway is all about," Bradford said. "We want to bring people from the community in to see the great work that our educators do every single day for our kids."

For a full gallery of photos from the event, click here.