Wednesday, April 18, 2001
INDEPENDENCE -- Students at Independence Elementary read 1.5 million pages in five months during the school's annual Read-a-Thon.
They finished the event with the popular traditional assembly April 11.
"Our closing day, which included recording all of their reading after spring break, was a doozy," said Marilyn Morton of Moms-4-Reading.
"We logged in more than 200,000 pages of reading and paid out $739 in reading dollars. The Read-a-thon store was a mad house."
Moms-4-Reading sponsors the read-a-thon every year. As children read more pages, they earn "Reading Bucks" they can redeem at a school store stocked by the mothers.
When children meet their overall reading goals, Principal Tish Mendenhall does something outrageous. One year it was strapping on a fake belly for a sumo wrestling match with the top reader.
Last year, it was doing a Sonny and Cher number.
"It's all a secret what the principal will be doing as a reward for the kids more than making their goal of 1,000,000 pages -- very, very secret," Morton said.
"But think `Survivor' and `food.'"
As it turned out, Mendenhall was confronted by a plate full of foods that might be found on the "Survivor" menu -- from crawly things to green liquids. Were they real? All the students know for sure is that she did indeed eat it all up.