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.
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.”
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.
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)