Nate Pietrini, Chicago Principal, Camps Out On School's Roof After Students Reach Reading Goals

The Chicago Public Schools District may be amid turbulent times, but that hasn’t stopped teachers, students and administrators from doing amazing things.

Case in point: Principal Nate Pietrini slept on his school’s roof last week in an effort to excite students about reading.

Pietrini, of Hawthorne Elementary Scholastic Academy, told students that if they did a certain amount of reading in the month leading up to the school's “author week,” he would camp out in a tent on the school’s roof. The students reached the goal, so Pietrini got out his camping gear, pitched a tent and took to the top of the building.

The principal proved he actually slept on the roof by broadcasting two video webcasts during the night. He read students bedtime stories in each of the webcasts. He told The Huffington Post that 350 students logged in to watch.

During the school’s “author week” students and teachers are supposed to celebrate the joys of reading and writing. He said he believes the roof challenge motivated kids to take author week -- and their reading assignments -- seriously.

“I had several parents look at me and say, 'I used to have trouble getting my kids to read but now they’ve been doing it … this may have turned a leaf for them,'” Pietrini said over the phone.

He said that his young students were all for the challenge.

“Probably 2-3 weeks before [the night] I slept [on the roof], I would have kids coming up to me everyday saying ‘you’re gonna sleep on the roof mister,’” Pietrini said.

While Pietrini said he would gladly sleep on the roof again next year, he said he may let students decide what he should do to incentivize reading in the weeks leading up to author week.

“I’d be more than happy to do the exact same challenge or even find something even a little more risqué or dangerous. I may put something out there for our student council to make that decision,” Pietrini said. "I'd absolutely do it again next year."

(Hat Tip, CBS Chicago)

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