December 15, 2017

Some elementary school kids have beaten their principal’s reading challenge


A Gru costume.

Let’s forget all the bad things for one moment—ok, two minutes max—and think about how exciting the future of America would be if the kids had all the power. Because at least they read.

Not only did this adorable child read 100 books in one day, and these third-grade radicals help keep their local Barnes & Noble open, but now we’ve got another group of literary tykes in North Andover, Massachusetts putting us all to shame with their literary accomplishments.

For the Eagle-TribunePaul Tennant reports on Franklin Elementary School’s most recent effort in literacy advocacy: a school-wide challenge to read 2,000 books in one month. What did these baby geniuses do? They went above and beyond, reading a total of 6,137.

Tennant interviewed Joseph Clarke, the school’s principal and the architect behind the challenge: “What started off as a simple reading challenge to put more books into the hands of students became something so much more — a testament to the dedication, camaraderie and support of this amazing staff and student body.”

So cute. But these kids weren’t completely self-motivated. According to Tennant, Clarke proposed that if they did reach their goal of 2,000 books in one month, the kids could pick his Halloween costume for the next year:

By a 12-vote margin, the students in a schoolwide referendum picked Gru from ‘Despicable Me.’ Elsa from ‘Frozen’ was a close second. The third choice for Clark’s costume—having him dress up as a New York Yankees fan—didn’t get many votes.

So good.



Alex Primiani is the associate director of publicity at Melville House.