Students at Wiregrass Elementary School have a summer tradition.
They take part, every year, in the Scholastic Book reading challenge.
Two years ago, the students logged in over 43,000 minutes, and came in eighth in the state.
But, Steve Williams, principal of the school at 29732 Wiregrass School Road in Wesley Chapel, knew they could do better.
So, he challenged them to log in more than 50,000 minutes.
If they could, he promised he would spend time reading to them from the school’s roof.
The students slayed the challenge — logging more than 160,000 minutes of reading.
And, the principal responded by spending a full day on the school’s roof — about 32 feet above ground — reading through a megaphone to the students below.
About every half-hour or so, the principal went on Facebook Live to connect with the community and with his students.
Teachers could log in and let their students watch.
The principal read a series of fiction and nonfiction books. He read newspapers and textbooks. He regaled the audience with his thoughts about the characters, plots and illustrators.
As a special treat, the top reader in every grade level was invited to come to the courtyard to listen to the principal read a book to them, from his high perch, through a megaphone.
Williams said that the kids love the fact that their principal is willing to do fun and extreme things.
He summed up the rooftop challenge like this: “Today is really all about supporting literacy.”
Published November 06, 2019