[NOTE: This entry has been cross-posted on my Adventures in Teaching Fourth blog.]
193 days ago, we, as the Wiley Elementary School community, set a lofty reading goal for the academic year: 1,000,000 minutes!
193 days ago, people said we were crazy. That it couldn’t be done. That it simple wouldn’t happen, because the goal was too lofty, too challenging.
193 days ago, we thumbed our noses at the naysayers and said, “You know what? You’re wrong. We can do it and we will do it!”
193 days ago, we decided that when we reached this goal, we would celebrate by doing something crazy: shaving Mr. Valencic’s head.
193 days ago, Mr. Valencic made a commitment to not cut his hair until we reached the goal. There were days when he started wavering, but he held strong. Of course, by the start of last week, I’d started pulling it back in a ponytail because there was nothing else I could do with it.
193 days ago, we started reading and logging our minutes. Today, 193 days after we started, we not only met our goal, we exceeded it!
One million, two hundred forty-seven thousand, two hundred seventy-seven!
That is equivalent to 20,787.95 hours. 866.165 days. 123.738 weeks. 28.4578 months. 2.37148 years.
That’s a lot of reading!
And so today, we celebrated. We read as an entire school for fifteen minutes and then gathered in the gym for the Big Event. After some joking around, the teacher shaving my head got down to work. An hour later, the deed was done.
Mr. Valencic is as bald as can be! (Well, okay, there’s some very, very tiny stubble remaining, but he is going to try to keep it bald for the rest of the year.)
Thanks to everyone who helped out! Parents, teachers, members of the community, and especially the students! Now that we’ve met our goal, I’m not going to track our minutes, but I hope that everyone will continue to read every day! And tell me about what you’re reading! I plan on sharing some “reading stories” over the next seven weeks we have left of school!