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Elementary school principal spends the night sleeping on roof

Elementary Principal Loses Bet To Students, Sleeps On School Roof


Exactly how far would you go to encourage kids to read? One elementary school principal in Kansas took the challenge to new heights -- literally.

KWCH reports Principal Stan Ruff saw that the students of Skelly Elementary were slowing down on their year-end reading challenge. So he proposed an idea to raise the stakes.



"We were going to try to motivate the kids," he told KWCH. So I told the kids if they reached the goal of 30,000 books for the year, that I would sleep on the roof one night."

The kids upped the ante and actually read 32,000 -- and since they held up their end of the bargain, principal Ruff had to do the same.

Surprisingly, this kind of "roof-sleeping" deal isn't new. WTXF reports five middle school teachers in New Jersey spent a cold December night on their school roof after 1,500 toys were collected for Toys for Tots.

And the Observer-Reporter says a high school teacher in Pennsylvania took a charity fundraiser to another level after the students raised $5,700 for underprivileged children.

Join the discussion

1000|Char. 1000  Char.
lthrnck68 May 26 2014 at 1:36 PM

Sad that they have to do this to encourage kids to read. Too much electronic crap available to kids these days. There's something magical that happens when you pick up a book and start to read. A real stimulant for the brain and the whole process of using one's imagination.

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1 reply
Mr. Golf lthrnck68 May 26 2014 at 10:11 PM

I wonder how many were paper printed books and how many were read on some model of kindle or an iPad.

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grnbonne May 26 2014 at 10:38 AM

My principal has done this several times over the years in an Ohio winter. The incentive to get him up there, get your parents/family etc to donate blood. Each donation helps 3 people! His goal was 200 units and he made it! The kids love it and they come and visit him in the evening and wave at him in the morning. We need MORE non food incentives with our children - like the good helping feeling!

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barbaraln12 May 26 2014 at 11:52 AM

Sounds like fun--something that kids would be motivated by and remember. Good for him!

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mrspierson May 26 2014 at 12:14 PM

What is wrong with teachers motivating students, I am glad that all of you negative people are NOT teachers, God forbid, can you imagine being in one of their classrooms?

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1 reply
skidrowtom mrspierson May 26 2014 at 7:51 PM

I'm a teacher and rely on internal motivation. Kids learn the value of reading and want to learn more. I don't rely on gimmicks that humiliate adults and have only short term benefits. I'm glad you're not a parent of a student in my class. And hopefully, you're not a parent at all.

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1 reply
jbhtonto skidrowtom May 26 2014 at 9:08 PM

Two things a good teacher should have (which you apparently do not) are imagination and innovation. Yours is a high calling, not just another job for a paycheck. Few professions affect as many people as teaching. After 50 years, I can still remember 3 or 4 teachers who shaped my life. And I've forgotten scores of others who did not.

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raptureus210 May 26 2014 at 8:12 AM

He must have a nagging wife. The Bible says in Proverbs.."Its better to sleep on the top of a roof than to live with a nagging wife".

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1 reply
Imofanopinion raptureus210 May 26 2014 at 12:21 PM

that is because the Bible was written by men!

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3 replies
jimbo675 May 26 2014 at 8:08 AM

Stupid. Principals and teachers should be role models. This is not being a role model. It cheapens the educaitonal process. Dumbest thing I have heard. Give children some tangible motivation.(ice cream works)

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11 replies
whstokey May 26 2014 at 8:25 AM

If something works it's a good thing. What will it take to keep students motivated every day? Congratulations on taking the initive to think out of the box and now how can that step lead to more and better ways to assure continious improvement becomes part of the education culture?

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1 reply
djaikins whstokey May 26 2014 at 10:44 AM

I have even heard of something so drastic as parents motivating their children to learn. What will they think of next?

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arkfault May 26 2014 at 1:31 PM

this is nothing new. my son and daughter went to pare elementary school in s. c. s. that was in 1985. did does help the kids as they are very gifted from reading over 500 books each in 1st and 2nd grade. good job prins

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skidrowtom May 26 2014 at 7:45 PM

Children humiliating adults and authority figures -- what a wonderful lesson. Unfortunately, these morons have to resort to gimmicks because they have failed to build a case for kids learning to read. These "educators" need to go back to their Psych 101 course and learn the differences between external and internal motivation.

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deornament May 26 2014 at 4:14 PM

As a teacher what motivates my students is wanting to learn. Building on their prior knowledge, engaging in aspects of critical thinking, and using literature as a way to expand their own vocabularies makes them want to rread it's all in how one presents the material to the students. Proudly, my 10 yr old reads beyond high school level. What motivated him? He saw a Harry Potter movie and decided at the age of 5 the books were better.

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