Hayward Elementary finds creative way for students to ‘stick’ to their reading goals

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Read Across America is an annual event that’s done to encourage reading among students. For this year, the staff at Hayward Elementary decided to get creative to help their students stick to their reading goals.

Thursday, Hayward Elementary Principal Derek Maassen decided to stick around after school.

Principal Maassen sticking around.

“It’s going to take a lot of duct tape to hold me up; I’m not a small man,” Maassen said.

He’s fulfilling a promise he made to his students earlier in March. If they hit their reading goals, they could duct tape him to the wall of the school.

“Kids were done with school at this point last year, and it feels like it’s getting kind of long this year. We were far home by this point last year, so we’re going to try to be creative,” Maassen said.

But, even with an end goal like this, it wouldn’t take much to encourage the students to dive into a good book.

“I like reading chapter books,” Lomvera said.

“I like princess books and superhero books,” Aria said.

For the month of March, every grade had to reach a specific goal. This is a part of the school’s Read Across America challenge; Fifth-grade teacher Kelsey Zubko challenged her students to read 20 minutes every day.

“It’s pretty fun because mostly everyone is reading,” Lomvera said.

“It was just pure fun, and I think that’s what we need this time of year because it has been a long year, and we’re going into testing and we just need opportunities to have fun,” Zubko said.

To keep track of the days they’ve read, they colored in shamrocks and were given a piece of duct tape.

“Doing this sort of thing is very important for our culture, morale and just keeping everybody upbeat,” Maassen said.

Maassen says the pandemic limited the school from doing traditional bonding activities like assemblies and rallies.

The students sticking Maassen to their wall.

“We need to celebrate all of the hard work our students have done this year: the perseverance that they’ve shown through this weird time, and we can’t do that as a whole group now -yet, anyway,” Maassen said.

But hopefully, this will help them stick things out till the end of the year.

“It’s going to be funny when he sticks to the wall,” Aria said.

​One of the kindergarteners, Aria read 13 books in March.

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