BLOOMINGDALE - Bloomingdale Elementary School Principal Theresa Lindsay spent two hours duct-taped to the wall of her building's gymnasium Friday.
No, she wasn't the victim of heinous prank. She willingly agreed to be taped to the wall by her students as part of a school-wide "Stuck on Reading" initiative.
For every 50 minutes the students spent reading this month, they were given a length of duct tape they could use to adhere their principal to the wall. The project was the brainchild of third-grade teacher Erin Canning, who said she heard about it online.
Students at Bloomingdale Elementary School duct tape their principal, Theresa Lindsay, to the wall of the school’s gymnasium Friday afternoon as part of a reading incentive. Fifth-grader Dylan Amell, left, read for the longest total time and was given 33 pieces of duct tape to stick his principal to the wall.
(Enterprise photo — Chris Knight)
"This is our March Madness Month and we kicked it off with Read Across America Day," Canning said. "March is really tough for the kids, so it was a good way to get them to read and something positive for them to do that involved literacy."
"The first of March, they came dressed up as their favorite book characters," school counselor Jen Tissot said. "And then they started doing their reading logs, and they knew the end of the month was going to culminate in this."
As of Friday, the school's students had read books, both at home and in school, for 25,512 minutes. That equaled a lot of duct tape, and students eagerly waited in line to stick it to their principal Friday afternoon.
"It's a lot of fun," said fifth-grader Dylan Amell, the student who read the most at 1,685 minutes. He covered Lindsay with 33 pieces of duct tape, including the final piece across her mouth, which sent the assembly of students into a frenzy of cheers, laughter and applause. Their reaction was just as enthusiastic a few minutes later when the stool Lindsay had been standing on was removed, leaving her suspended off the ground.
"At first I was a little claustrophobic, and I had to do a little breathing, but once I felt secure against the wall, it felt a little bit better," Lindsay told the Enterprise.
She said she didn't think twice about volunteering to be put in such a sticky situation.
"Anything to get the kids engaged in a book," she said. "It's been really cool to hear all the kids going, 'We're going to stick you,' and 'I've been reading, I've been reading.' I'll do anything to get them to read."
Lindsay was still stuck to the wall when the students were dismissed for the start of their two-week spring break. It couldn't be confirmed as of Enterprise press time if she had been cut down.
Contact Chris Knight at 518-891-2600 ext. 24 or firstname.lastname@example.org.