T.H. Rogers Middle School principal David Muzyka spent the entire day on the roof of his school reading to students in the courtyard below. Last year, BOOK IT! challenged every school principal in the country to “read your heart out” during National Young Readers Week. This year, the organization sent out a new Principal Challenge, and Muzyka accepted, braving gusty winds and an approaching blue norther, to show his students the value of reading aloud.
Research shows that the single most important factor in raising a child who reads is reading aloud. The principal must commit to read the entire day – from the first bell to the last. Muzyka’s staff was there to support his effort, using a plastic marketing basket and rope to send up coffee and cinnamon roll in the morning, lunch at midday, water, and various books that students had requested he read. Among the books that Muzyka read were “Stone Soup,” “Alexander and the Horrible Terrible No Good Day,” “Hunger Games,” and “Le Petit Nicolas a Des Ennuis.”
“When I complete this challenge, Rogers will be entered in a contest to win 100 copies of “The Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck” for the school library,” said Muzyka, “plus I get an autographed copy.” The book was just released Nov. 5.
BOOK IT!, which was created in 1985, motivates children to read by rewarding their reading accomplishments with praise, recognition, and pizza. Sponsored by Pizza Hut, the program recognizes students who meet a monthly academic reading goal with a free pizza and sticker for their own Passport to Reading.