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Students mark book progress - with a lot of duct tape
White Sulphur Elementary celebrates reading by pinning principals to wall
White Sulphur Elementary students wait in line Friday afternoon to add their piece of tape to principal Dr. Betsy Ainsworth, left, and assistant principal Jessica Burce as they stick to the gymnasium wall.

Reading can be fun and should be encouraged.

At least that was the idea behind two White Sulphur Elementary administrators being taped to the wall of their gymnasium.

It took about an hour for the entire process.

One by one, each student came up to place their tape.

Deneshia Newberry, a fifth-grader who lives in Gainesville, said she was thrilled to be a part of the day’s events.

Newberry is a big fan of reading, so much so that she has lost count of how many books she has read this year. Her favorite are the Magic Treehouse series.

She was one of 320 students, in grades kindergarten through fifth, to participate. The school has about 500 students total.

Altogether, the students, teachers and other faculty members used about $250 worth of duct tape in assorted colors, patterns and sparkle to pin Principal Betsy Ainsworth and Assistant Principal Jessica Burce to the wall.

The teachers started first, taping the administrators from the waist up to the wall, and then it was the kids’ turn to tape from the waist down.

The administrators interacted with each student as they were taped, laughing and each holding a book of their choice.

This assembly, called Stuck on Reading, was the second of the year specifically designed to encourage kids to read more, whether that is more books, more pages or more time in front of a page.

“We want to encourage a love of reading,” Ainsworth said.

In her own office, she has a wall decoration that says READ in different colors, reiterating the goal to any student who finds themselves in her office.

She said the teachers were also very helpful in making sure their students were reading at the appropriate level and for the right amount of time in order to reach the goal.

“Some of our kids, there’s not as much literacy at home, so we tell them to check out books from the library,” she said.

Beverly Clark, an intervention teacher that assists students with reading, was the primary event planner behind the whole thing.

Before today, they had a superhero day, complete with an obstacle course that she put together. Sometime in May they will have a day in which both administrators will spend the day on the roof.

“I’m very proud of them,” Ainsworth said.