Mike Boucher recently presented a program to his son's kindergarten class.  He sent along this narrative and an couple of photos of the event.  You're a good dad Mike!

Hi folks,

On Tuesday, Dec 22nd, my son's school had Santa Claus come in to read “The Polar Express” to both kindergarten classes.  James' teacher asked if I would be willing to talk to the class about trains, as James is very much into trains, and my wife has told here that its genetic.  I agreed.  I figured that in order to get the attention of a bunch of kindergarteners, I needed something impressive to catch their attention, that wasn’t so fragile that I was worried about it getting damaged.  So I brought my 3.5” gauge Boston and Maine pacific in as a prop.  Needless to say, that got their attention!  (and the teachers were pretty amazed as well)
James wouldn’t sit down with the rest of his class; he had to be part of the demonstration as well.  So, for about an hour, he and I talked about steam engines, the jobs of the conductor, engineer, and fireman, freight cars,
“Thomas the tank engine” and the prototypes of many of the characters, the difference between freight and passenger engines, and took a bunch of questions.
When it was all done, we got some plastic baggies and gave each of the kids 4 or 5 small pieces of coal for their stockings!  (I’m sure the parents LOVED that! ;))
It was a lot of fun, and its amazingly intimidating standing in front of 40 kindergarten kids!
I’ll have to find someplace to post a few photos, as my wife was there with
a camera…  (BTW ­ all the kids were wearing pajamas, as that’s what the
“Polar Express” passengers were all wearing)
Mike Boucher
Lunenburg, MA 01462

Kindergarten1.jpg (171744 bytes) Mike shows the kids how coal is loaded into the firebox

Kindergarten2.jpg (211513 bytes)  James is holding an HO scale gondola car, and you can see an HO boxcar and hopper car on the running board of the pacific.  This was when I was telling the kids about the different types of cars they might see in a freight train. 

Kindergarten3.jpg (124433 bytes)  James explaining something about trains to his dad.

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