Principal may have to pucker up to pig in reading challenge


Ridge Mills Elementary School Principal Michael Flagg is preparing for the prospect of kissing a pig on June 17 as part of the school’s “Go ‘pig’ or Go Home” reading challenge event, according to an announcement by the Rome City School District.

Flagg will pucker up for a pig that day if Ridge Mills students have read 400,000 minutes by then, according to a Rome school district announcement.

For a “One School, Two Books” activity that is part of the challenge, students have been reading, “Because of Winn Dixie,” by Kate DiCamillo and the “Pay it Forward” Young Reader’s Edition, by Catherine Ryan Hyde. The two stories are centered on the themes of giving, kindness, and being an agent of change, the school district said.

At a March assembly at Ridge Mills, the elementary school’s 370 students were challenged to read 20 minutes a night for 54 days to reach the reading goal, said the school district. Students can read books, sheet music or blogs, according to a student literacy committee

Flagg said his potential June 17 kiss would be with “Ellie” the pig, whom he said is owned by local author Christina Wall who has written a book called “Ellie the Pig Goes to School.” Wall and “Ellie” also will be coming to Ridge Mills school on May 23 for a literacy-related event, Flagg added. “Our focus is to build a culture of literacy throughout our school by challenging students to read every day,” said Flagg. He added “it has been wonderful hearing so many students talking about what they are reading and genuinely enjoying books. As of April 11, there are 250,000 minutes logged, so they are more than half-way there.”

In conjunction with the overall reading initiative, a Ridge Mills sixth-grade literacy event on April 11 involved students producing literary works after reading the “Paying it Forward” book. It featured realistic fiction, historical fiction, poetry, and playwriting, including plays presented by students.


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