By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — Third-grader Charlie Lane loves to read. So when St. Paul the Apostle Catholic School Principal Julie Delaney asked for a reading challenge idea, he suggested a holiday reading campaign. If K-8 students read a total of 100,000 pages, their reward would be wearing pajamas to school and free reading time.
Charlie said he specifically chose Nov. 25 to Jan. 4 because Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks fell during that time period. “Quite a few students would be on the road. And with break time, there would be a lot of time to read.” Charlie himself read 15,000 pages over the break.
In all, St. Paul students read more than 175,000 pages. After the pages were tallied, Delaney said, the announcement was made that pajamas could be worn to school Jan. 14. Rules for appropriate attire were spelled out in the Friday newsletter the week before pajama day. Teachers and staff were allowed to join in the festivities too. Slippers were allowed in the classroom, but students could not wear them to and from school or at recess.
All grades had reading time from 1-2 p.m. on Jan. 14. Students were allowed to spread out on blankets and pillows on the floors of their classrooms to read. In addition, the school had Hy-Vee cater hot chocolate, which was set out in hallways so teachers could bring their students to the stations to fill up.
“We’ll have to wait and see what the next challenge is,” Delaney said. After students achieved a reading goal last summer, Delaney rewarded them by spending the school day on the roof of the Early Learning Center on school grounds.
“Our goal is going to have to go up. We need to challenge them even more.”