Charleston Elementary principal hopes reading lesson sticks

dwitte@losbanosenterprise.comFebruary 28, 2014 

All Charleston Elementary principal Lou Ruiz wanted on Friday was for somebody to scratch his nose.

To celebrate Read the Most Coast to Coast, a national event by Renaissance Learning, Ruiz offered a length of duct tape to any student who completed an Accelerated Reading test during the week. On Friday, the students taped Ruiz to a wall outside the school’s front office. By the time the taping began at 12:30 p.m., Charleston’s students turned in 1,568 of the reading comprehension tests, according to office staff member Deborah Adams.

“Oh yeah, definitely (we accomplished our goal),” Ruiz said while still hanging from the wall as students filed by on their way to the buses at the end of the school day. “For a school of 400 students, that’s a lot. I’m proud of them.”

The event came at the end of a week-long celebration of Dr. Seuss’s 110th birthday (which is March 2) at Charleston.

“All week we’ve been dressing up,” Adams said. “Today was your favorite Dr. Seuss character, and we had a photo booth to take a picture with the Cat in the Hat.”

Other days included a crazy socks day, a mismatched clothes day, a twin day and a Cat in the Hat day.

Ruiz said the idea for duct-taping him to the wall came from Tiffany Fuentes, the school’s inclusion specialist. Ruiz has developed a reputation for being up for anything, and can be seen tossing eggs from the school’s rooftop come Easter time.

“Whatever they want, I’ll do it,” Ruiz said. He was a little worried about his staff taking him down before leaving for the weekend though.

“I’ll bite my way out of here if I have to,” he said with a laugh.

The Read the Most Coast to Coast national goal was five million Accelerated Reading tests. By late Friday afternoon, the Renaissance Learning website showed 4.967 million.

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