JAY — Spruce Mountain Middle School students had a spirited send-off for their annual reading challenge Friday afternoon.
The 360 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders began the Reading Mayhem program by taking off for places in the school and reading as much as they could for 20 minutes.
Staff members were posted throughout the building to make sure youngsters weren’t anywhere they weren’t supposed to be.
“There was a great deal of excitement,” eighth grade language arts teacher Lynn Ouellette said. Almost all students read more than they thought they could in just 20 minutes, she said.
“One eighth-grader told me he read 16 pages,” Ouellette said.
Most staff members also are taking part in the reading challenge.
The goal is to read a quarter-million pages between Friday and March. If it's met, Principal Scott Albert will become a student for a day, and the student who reads the most will become principal for a day.
The Friday activity was part of the Warm Up to Reading with a Good Book program.
“We wanted to jump-start the enthusiasm,” Ouellette said of Friday’s event.