Principal spending night on school roof after reading challenge

Local News

ROCKPORT, Ind. (WEHT) What started as a reading challenge at Rockport Elementary School ends with its principal on the roof of the school.

Principal Rick Hunt is spending the night there after students beat a reading challenge this week. He’ll be there all night to make good on a deal with students who read for 100,000 minutes the past three days. But the effort is more than fun. It is also a way to get students to learn to love reading.

They spent the past three days reading out loud, and quietly, their favorites and books that could become ones.

“I read “I Survived” books and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” said Ella Newton, a student at Rockport Elementary.

“I’ve been reading “Holes” by Louis Sachar,” adds Levi Carter, a 5th grader at Rockport Elementary.

Students read for 100,000 minutes in three days, just so their principal can go climbing up a ladder to the roof.

“My goal this year as a principal was to instill more of a love of reading for the kids,” says Hunt. He says the students shattered the goal of 60,000 minutes in three days as part of the school’s Rockport Reads week. He adds learning to love to read helps a child’s education in and out of class.

“Just having a love of reading and being excited about books, and being able to access literature and all different kinds of things, again, you can’t get on the internet. You can watch some videos and other things, you won’t be able to access those things if you aren’t able to read,” Hunt says.

“I’m just kind of happy that we got to read and got to learn more about books and what kind of books we like,” said Carter.

Students say they want to keep reading more books even after hunt comes down from the roof. But some want to make sure Hunt’s actions speak as loud as their words.

“We wanted to actually have proof that he stayed up there,” says Newton.

Hunt also read to some students earlier this afternoon while on the roof and he hopes to do more reading on his YouTube channel this evening. He adds he’s got extra sleeping bags and other things to stay warm through tonight.

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(This story was originally published on March 5, 2020)

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