Sometimes people get marooned for all the right reasons.
Douglas Intermediate School and Douglas Upper Elementary school took students on a challenge before spring break. Every year, as part of Read Across America, students are given a reading goal, measured in “bookmarks.” Students filled a “bookmark” by reading for 2.5 hours.
This year’s theme was Hollywood — the trip to L.A. from Douglas is 1,125 miles – so the students had to collectively turn in 1,125 bookmarks.
As an incentive, DIS/DUES Instructional Facilitator Jamie Miller sets up a wacky prize for the kids every year.
This year’s incentive involved turning Principal Brent Notman and Assistant Principal Wes Gamble into living exhibits: If the kids read the necessary 168,750 minutes, Notman and Gamble would have to spend an entire school day on the school’s roof.
Gamble and Notman spent March 7 on the roof.
Notman said he never worried about the freezing temperatures.
“Really it’s all about getting our kids to read more and understand the importance of reading outside the school setting,” Notman said while stranded, sitting just a few feet away from a snow angel he had made.
Sporting a “lovely pink scarf” and hat provided by a kind parent, Notman said the kids did an outstanding job this year.
“Our students have read more this year than they ever have,” he said. “They really stepped up their game, which was the whole intent. They did a fantastic job, I’m proud of them.”
Notman and Gamble said the spending the day on a snow-covered roof really wasn’t much of an ordeal, when you consider the cause.
“The windchill this morning, when I crawled up here, was three,” Notman said in the early afternoon. “It has climbed up, which I’m very glad about – I can feel my toes again. But it’s a small sacrifice to get our kids to read, so it was awesome.”
Gamble didn’t mind the cold.
“It was worth every minute,” he said. “It wouldn’t have mattered if it was 20 degrees or not, we had a lot of fun with the kids.”
With their phones, Gamble and Notman were able to get a fair bit of work done despite the frigid conditions. Notman noted that he sat in on a conference call, and was kept in the loop through text and email.
“We’d do anything to promote kids reading,” Gamble said. “You challenge them a bit, and they’ll push themselves to reach that goal.”
“Readers are leaders and we have a campus of leaders, good job,” Notman shouted down through a megaphone to the staring students.