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Photos: Roanoke kids win reading challenge, duct tape Principal Payton

03/06/2016 9:00 AM |

Security guard Chris Koerner gets a laugh and custodian Frank Sciarratta checks Mr.Payton's clearance off the ground. Barbaraellen Koch photo

Over the past 11 years, he’s been slimed, he’s had his head shaved, he’s had pies thrown in his face, and he’s dressed up like a chicken and done the Chicken Dance in the school auditorium, among other things…all to encourage kids to read.

This year, Roanoke Avenue Elementary School Tom Payton came up with another incentive to get his students to read.

If they read more than 80,000 hours per week, which amounts to about 30 minutes per day per kid, he’d let them duct tape him to a pole in front of the entrance way to the school.

The students not only met the challenge — as they have every year — they exceeded it, reading 84,000 minutes.

Kindergartners get a laugh at Mr. Payton all taped up. Barbaraellen Koch photo.

Kindergartners get a laugh at Mr. Payton all taped up. Barbaraellen Koch photo.

So on Friday, 402 students got to apply 402 pieces of duct tape to their principal  — one per student — and by the end of the endeavor, Mr. Payton was pretty much stuck to that pole.

“I’m hoping my head custodian is able to cut me down,” Mr. Payton said. “I’m at his mercy right now. My head custodian is running the place right now. He can have whatever he wants.”

Reading teacher Corrine Arrasate helps kindergartners Rudy Dejesus Guiterrez (left) and Rudy Garcia apply tape. Barbaraellen Koch photo

Reading teacher Corrine Arrasate helps kindergartners Manuel Dejesus Guiterrez (left) and Rudy Garcia apply tape. Barbaraellen Koch photo

Beginning last Monday, the students took part in “Reading Week,” in which each day has a different reading theme, and the week culminates with the kids getting to slime, duct tape or otherwise do something horrible to their principal.

Security guard Chris Koerner checks the clearance below Mr. Payton's feet.  Barbaraellen Koch photo

Security guard Chris Koerner checks the clearance below Mr. Payton’s feet. Barbaraellen Koch photo

Mr. Payton said he’s proud of the students. But he admitted, “It’s getting hard to come up with new things to do.”

But then he quickly added that he does already have an idea for what to do next year — although he’s keeping it a secret for the time being.

Top caption: Security guard Chris Koerner gets a laugh and custodian Frank Sciarratta checks Mr.Payton’s clearance off the ground. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

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