Is it roughing it or roofing it? |

Is it roughing it or roofing it?

Pete FowlerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. Glenwood Springs Middle School Principal Brad Ray has gone through the roof for literacy … or at least, he camped on the roof last night.He was keeping his promise related to a challenge he issued to his students to achieve their reading goals for the month of February. February has been picked as a month to emphasize reading and writing.”I want to petition the government to change that to May in case I ever decide to do this again,” Ray said.Thursday afternoon he was securing his tent to the roof of GSMS on top of several inches of snow. He eyed a cloudy sky that didn’t look too friendly. It’s supposed to get down to eight degrees tonight, Ray said.”I’ll be all right,” he said.

He covered the tent with a tarp. It was strategically placed next to a small vertical wall with vents protruding from it. Ray said he could listen through the vents to the wrestling match that was scheduled for Thursday night. Other than that, he’ll have to content himself with some fly fishing books, one of which is called “Trout Bum.”Ray had planned to bring a Web cam so that his students could watch him stick it out on the roof, but he decided it was too cold and might damage the camera.Ray said the Roaring Fork School District Re-1 has been on a district wide push for literacy and has emphasized non-fiction.Throughout life, a lot of times you’re taught to learn how to read, he said. “In middle school you have to read to learn.”Every student at GSMS attends a 25-minute literacy block where they study reading and writing at the start of each day, Ray said. A literacy committee composed of teachers meets with students to develop individual reading goals. Ray said students did well with this last month.

“It went great,” he said. “Middle school is a tough age and it’s really nice to be working with such a great staff.”He randomly picked two students from each grade and had lunch with them while discussing their reading goals.Between the six of them, the students read about 10,000 pages in February, he said.”I have a son in sixth grade who I saw reading really hard to get dad out of the house,” he added.The idea to sleep on the roof of the school came about after the literacy committee asked him what he was willing to do for the month of February.

“I’ll go through the roof,” Ray said. “And they said, ‘Well, why don’t you just sleep on the roof?'”Contact Pete Fowler: 945-8515, ext. 16611pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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