At the beginning of the school year, Crestview Elementary principal Stacy Davis met with the first graders to encourage them to read their new library books. Quite spontaneously two students, Campbell Brown and Camdyn Campbell, threw down the challenge to Davis, ‘what would you do if we read 10,000 books?’
Davis, unsure if they could even read 10,000 books in a school year, stated she would do something big if they reached that goal, she would do something big as a reward. The determined girls suggested that Davis should kiss a pig if they reached their goal, to which she agreed without hesitating.
“I got the idea from a book at the start of the year. It was in the book – somebody kissing a pig,” said Brown. “We deserved to get something for all the work we were going to do. So, somebody has got to kiss a pig!”
With the challenge accepted, the first graders raced to the books and started the herculean task of reading 10,000 books in one year! The previous class read an impressive 8,900 books, and this year’s class was just as determined, if not more.
“We want them to concentrate on loving and enjoying books,” said Saundra Wimberley, a first-grade teacher at Crestview. “Having a challenge to read a larger quantity sounded like a fun idea, especially since the kids initiated it.”
They read and read and … read! As they read library books and books they owned at home, the students completed Reading Response cards, showing understanding of about 30 concepts from fiction and nonfiction books, and documenting their reading to parents and family members. Almost all the library books were even read 2 or 3 times.
When the end of the timeline came around the students were all filled outside for the big reveal. When Wimberley revealed the students read an impressive 10,873 books, they all cheered! ‘KISS A PIG!’ they chanted over and over.
With the help of the agricultural department at Frenship High School, a baby piglet was brought out for Principal Davis and Assistant Principal Victoria Mahan to kiss. After the big kiss, students lined up to pet the piglet while Melanie Howell, an Ag Teacher at FHS, answered any questions the students had about the pig.
When Campbell found out they read enough books and the principals were actually going to kiss the pig she was ecstatic.
“Oh, my gosh! That’s so many books! I was like that pig looks wet and nasty. I can’t even touch that pig! How are they going to kiss it? I screamed when they did it!”