Written by Denise Trezza Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
Students and staff at Theodore Roosevelt Elementary provided a fitting send-off for beloved Principal Gina Faust during their Parents as Reading Partners (P.A.R.P.) celebration. While donning cowboy hats, boots and scarves, students danced during a school-wide hoe down.
The P.A.R.P. events are designed to encourage students and families to read at home. Each year, students are challenged to read with a partner at home for at least 15 minutes for five nights. When students reach their school-wide goal for logged reading hours they make an unusual demand on their principal. One year, Faust served lunch in the cafeteria; last year she sang a pop song to the school; and this year she was asked to dance the funky cowboy. While Faust thought she would be doing it with only a small group of students, she was in for a surprise when it was revealed that the whole school had learned the dance and would be performing for her as well.
The hoe-down was the culminating event for a week’s worth of activities. Parent volunteers kicked off the event by visiting classrooms, providing cowboy themed snacks and assisting with a boot making craft. Pre-K students were asked to make a ranch scene with a graham cracker barn and a cheese stick fence with animal crackers grazing in the field.
Meanwhile, a school-wide drama unfolded as Faust, whose picture was posted in the lobby on a wanted poster, would pop into classrooms as a renegade cowboy pleading to students not to reveal her whereabouts as the staff would be looking for her. What might a principal with a passion for reading be wanted for? Why, overdue library books of course.
As they bid happy trails to a principal who has so successfully inspired them to read, work hard and enjoy every minute of their elementary school experience, Faust had one last message for her students: “Keep Reading.”