Fredericktown Elementary School found a unique way to celebrate Read Across America Week. Principal, Joe Clauser, challenged the students to collect socks in honor of Dr. Seuss's "Fox in Socks" book.
"As a group, we decided it would be nice to add a community service project into Read Across America week," Clauser said. "Dr. Seuss is a favorite, so we came up with socks from one of his books."
The original goal was to collect 75 pairs of socks, which would earn the students ice cream sundaes. However, Clauser wanted to aim higher and set a goal of 200 pairs of socks. As a way to incentivize the students, Clauser said, if they hit the big goal, he would be turned into a human ice cream sundae.
"We all thought Mr. Clauser was crazy with the 200 goal, and he really wanted to set the goal even higher," FES staff member Rhonda Starkey said. "We had several people willing to buy socks, if needed, to make sure he got ice creamed."
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To everyone's surprise, the students exceeded both goals on the first day of the sock drive. In total, they collected an impressive 1,040 pairs of socks.
"Everyone definitely enjoyed participating in the challenge," Clauser said. "The students were excited all week. They kept telling me they were bringing in socks so they could turn me into a sundae. Several of them have told me this week that now I’m known as 'Mr. Sundae.'"
The nine teachers who had submitted the most positive office referrals this school year were chosen to help turn Clauser into a human sundae.
"They seemed to have the most fun pouring on the toppings," Clauser said. "It was definitely the highlight of the week for me - seeing everyone so enthusiastic about working together to meet a goal."
The sock drive was just one of the many activities that took place during Read Across America Week.
"Mrs. Coffman always plans fun dress up days and activities to make it an exciting week," Starkey said. "The teachers always jump on board, adding in their own fun activities to do with their students."
In addition to the sock drive, the school had dress-up days like Read My Shirt, Favorite Book Character, and Crazy Socks. The library had a potato character display, where students were encouraged to create a character from their favorite book using a potato.
When asked about what he hoped the students learned from the experience, Clauser said, the character word for March is cooperation, which is working together to reach shared goals and this definitely was a great way to practice cooperation.
The staff at Fredericktown Elementary School believes learning shouldn't just be about academics but also about being good humans.
"Our families really stepped up to support a couple of local resources that provide much-needed assistance to families in need," Clauser said. "Thank you to Mrs. Coffman, Mrs. Starkey, and the rest of the team that worked so hard to make Read Across America Week so engaging and exciting for our students and promoted reading among our students and their families."
Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at email@example.com