Reading At A Whole New Level

On November 13, the faculty, staff and students of Lewis & Clark Elementary School spent ALL DAY reading…in their pajamas (because everything is better while in your pajamas, right?) for the school’s Read Your Heart Out Day.

To promote the importance of reading and National Young Readers Week, Principal Jason Cresap took his commitment to reading to a whole new level—he spent the day reading on the roof of the school!

Principal waves to arriving students from rooftop of school.
Cresap greets students from the rooftop as they arrive at Lewis & Clark for Read Your Heart Out Day.

Throughout the day, Lewis & Clark classrooms were engaged in silent reading time, read-aloud time, read-to-each-other time, and even had time with celebrity readers. Two Fargo Force hockey players came to read to the elementary students, as well as the BIG 98.7 radio morning crew of Pike, Amanda, Jesse, and Rambo. Radio DJ “E” from Y-94 read in eight grade 2 through 5 classrooms.

3 people read in chairs up on the school roof.
Pike from radio station BIG 98.7 and first grade teacher Lindsay Thiel join Jason Cresap for some rooftop reading time.


Cresap also enjoyed time with celebrity rooftop readers, including several Lewis & Clark teachers and Rambo and Pike from BIG 98.7, who read and did a live radio broadcast from the rooftop.

While he was on the roof for the day, Cresap sent a You Tube video to each classroom of him reading a book for those students. He also sent periodic video reports to the whole school, updating them on how things were going on the roof. You can view Cresap’s video chronicles for yourself through this You Tube link.

reading aloud to a group of students
Y-94 radio DJ “E” reads to Mrs. Muscatell’s fifth grade class, who wore their pajamas for the day, and brought pillows and blankets to make their reading time more comfy.

Lewis & Clark’s Read Your Heart Out Day was held as part of Pizza Hut’s BOOK IT! program, a national reading incentive program to encourage life-long reading habits. Pizza Hut has teamed up with popular children’s author Jeff Kinney, who has written the Diary of a Wimpy Kidbook series, for this year’s top BOOK IT! prize: a school visit by Kinney in Spring 2014. The school with the greatest number of minutes read throughout the duration of the BOOK IT! program wins the prize, and Cresap is hopeful Lewis & Clark will be in the running after devoting an entire school day to reading.

Read Your Heart Out Day was the idea of third grade teacher Andrea Deschamp, although Cresap is quick to point out that his entire staff played a part in setting up the event and making it a huge success. “We held this event to promote a love of reading, to celebrate reading and its importance. The feedback I’ve received from students, staff, parents, and the community has been unbelievably positive,” said Cresap.

group poses below principal on rooftopMaybe Principal Cresap will be on the Lewis & Clark school roof again next year during National Young Readers Week 2014…he’d better hope the weather then is as mild as it was last week for his rooftop reading adventure—temperatures were an unusually balmy 40 to 61° F during this year’s rooftop reading.

2 girls reading together


group of studentsgroup of students2 boys reading together