Reading Week 2013 from Sandra Kolbo on Vimeo.


(March 11, 2013--Riverhead, NY) Mr. Payton walked the walk blindfolded through a maze of 370 students, who, by virtue of the fact that they met his challenge and read 65,794 minutes (in four days outside of school), got to spray him with or toss something at him as he walked around the periphery of a huge square of ecstatic readers and grinning staff members.

After a reading week that began with a celebration of Dr. Seuss’ birthday with a Dr. Seuss Read Aloud, and included Read a T-Shirt Day, Team Up and Read Day, Hats Off to Reading Day, Poem in Your Pocket Day, A Reading Roundabout, it concluded with the students having read 65,794 minutes in four days, and a very “messy” Mr. Payton as he was pelted with whipped cream, Kool Aid, strawberry sauce, silly string, bird seed, paper airplanes, noodles, tiny marshmallows, water, and more by 370 students and their teachers.

(March 4, 2013– Riverhead, NY) On Friday, March 1, Roanoke Elementary School, Principal Tom Payton, who is infamous for his Reading Week challenges, held an assembly to kick off Roanoke's Reading Week.

Mr. Payton issued an "A-Maze-ing" reading challenge to his students this year. "If you meet my challenge and read for 65,000 minutes (outside school) during the week," he challenged, "on Friday, March 8th, on the Roanoke field, at 2:30, I will walk blindfolded through a human maze of Roanoke students, and you will get to spray me with silly string or do whatever wacky trick you can devise as I walk through the maze!"

This challenge brought on a lot of applause and some big belly laughs from students as they gleefully pictured the scene in their minds.

"Reading Weeks are a great vehicle to promote the love of reading and the use of the library," states Mr. Payton. "The kids love them, and I don't mind taking a pie in the face, getting a buzz cut, or walking blindfolded through a maze of students if it helps them learn to read!"

Each day during the week, the students will participate in the theme of the day:
Ø    Monday: Read a T-Shirt Day and Dr. Seuss' Birthday Read Aloud
Ø    Tuesday: Team Up and Read Day (Wear a Team Jersey)
Ø    Wednesday: Hats Off to Reading Day
Ø    Thursday: Poem in Your Pocket Day and the Reading Read-About at 2:30
Ø    Friday: Curl up With a Good Book in Your Pajamas and READ Assembly

Last year, standing on the stage in the auditorium wearing a maroon cape, Mr. Payton announced that the Roanoke students had surpassed his expectations and read 61,000 minutes in just four days. He then sat down and Jermaine, a barber from Platinum Images in Riverhead, proceeded to buzz off his long, curly locks while the auditorium filled with students in grades K-4 chanted, "read, read, read"! And when Jermaine was finished, that's what it read on the side of Mr. Payton's head.

The students can hardly wait to get into the act this year and are devising all kinds of fun surprises for Mr. Payton.

OKAY, kids and parents--READ, READ, AND READ SOME MORE!