Weyauwega-Fremont’s two principals headed to the roof last week for some reading time.
One wore a clown outfit and the other a big, read heart on his face.
They did so after elementary and middle school students participated in the Read Your Heart Out challenge during National Young Readers Week.
“Both schools went way over their targets. It was great to see,” said Kirk Delwiche, who is the principal of Fremont and Weyauwgea elementary schools.
At Fremont Elementary, the reading goal was 7,500 minutes over the course of the four-day challenge.
The students passed that goal after day two, said Shari Foster, who coordinated the effort at that school.
Their next goal was to read 15,000 minutes, because if they did, Delwiche had to spend a day wearing a clown suit.
The students met that goal – they read for a total of 18,975 minutes.
On Monday, Nov. 19, Delwiche wore a clown suit and spent the day at Fremont Elementary, reading to students and going on the roof of the school to read when the students had recess.
The next day, he repeated the process at Weyauwega Elementary.
That was after students met the school’s goal of reading for 20,000 minutes over the course of the four-day challenge.
The students tripled that goal, reading for 60,508 minutes.
In addition to seeing their principal in a clown outfit all day, the students celebrated with a pajamja day.
On both days, Delwiche went on the roof of each school in the morning before heading into the schools to read to the students.
“I read a book to each class,” he said.
When it was recess time, it was roof time for him.
During his time on the roof of each school, he read The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw.
It was a book he had wanted to start for some time.
With the temperature in the high 40s last week, Delwiche said everything went well.
“No rain. No snow. No wind,” he said.
Since the challenge was so well received, there are now plans for additional reading challenges this school year.
Matt Wilbert, principal of the middle and high schools, is willing to do more challenges, too.
“It was fun for me,” he said.
At the middle school level, the goal was for 90 percent of the students to participate in the reading challenge.
In all, 69 percent of the students participated, and so, Wilbert agreed to compomise with the students.
He read on the roof from 8 a.m. to noon on Nov. 20.
A middle school student drew a read heart on his face before he went up there, to signify students read their hearts out.
“I was cold in the morning until the sun got above the trees. It was brisk,” said Wilbert, who wore quilted socks, snowmobiling bibs and ear warmers that day.
During his time on the roof, Wilbert read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey.
“I’d been wanting to read that for awhile. It was the teens who put me up on the roof to begin with,” Wilbert said. “I’m trying to promote that book. I want to use some of the ideas in the homerooms.”
He got some strange looks that day as he sat on the roof reading.
“I had the roof to myself. I got 186 pages in. I couldn’t put it down,” Wilbert said of the 244-page book. “I think I had more fun than the kids.”