A poster at Spruce Mountain Primary School in Livermore encouraged students to read enough books for their principal, Michael Glynn to kiss a pig. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

LIVERMORE — It may have been April 1, but it was no joke when Spruce Mountain Primary School Principal Michael Glynn kissed a pig and got a pie shoved in his face – twice.

He wore a black T-shirt with the words, “Our students made me kiss a pig!” and a pink pig’s face.

The students participated in the national Read Across America Week, Feb. 28 to March 4 but the school extended it through March 31, Julie Bolduc, Title I reading specialist said Friday, April 1.

A Proclamation issued by The White House for Read Across America Day March 1 states, “Reading ignites imagination, insight, and inspiration. It nourishes a child’s creativity and curiosity, and inspires a passion for lifelong learning. Books can challenge and inspire. They can teach important lessons, reveal new worlds, and enrich our understanding of our own – of different people, perspectives, and cultures.”

The primary school students were challenged to read 4,000 books and chose kissing a pig as their reward.

Other options students could vote on were for Glynn to get a pie in the face or have a bucket of ice water poured over him.


Annalise Morin wrote a letter to Glynn stating, “I think you should also do the pie in your face too. It would be so funny for us. You would be such a cool principal. I will read twice as many books too!” After reading the letter, Glynn announced he would do both.

Spruce Mountain Primary School Principal Michael Glynn kisses Shortcake, a 24-week old piglet held by owner Joshua Perkins Friday afternoon, April 1. Glynn agreed to kiss a pig if students read 4,000 books. At right is Julie Bolduc, Title I reading specialist. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

Friday afternoon students and staff gathered near the play structure outside the school. Joshua and Tasha Perkins of Livermore were there with Shortcake, their 24-week old female piglet.

The Perkins raise chickens, goats, pigs and gardens. The gardens give Joshua the most joy these days. The farm was vacant when they bought it three years ago. Now they sell vegetables, pigs and eggs.

“The goats are just pets,” he said. “When COVID started it kick started us to get bigger.”

“It became important to grow our own food,” Tasha said.

“You read more than 4,000 books, 5,728 at the last check,” Glynn told the eagerly waiting students. He climbed on the play structure where Joshua was holding the piglet.


Glynn kissed Shortcake on the snout. Students cheered, clapped or raised their fists in the air.

On Friday, April 1, SMPS student Annalise Morin puts a pie in the face of principal Michael Glynn. Students at the Livermore school were challenged to read 4,000 books during March as part of Read Across America. Seen at left is Joshua Perkins holding Shortcake, a 24-week old piglet Glynn kissed as part of the students’ reward. At right is Julie Bolduc, Title I reading specialist. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

Morin was then called to the structure and given a chocolate cream pie. Glynn bent down and she hit him with it. He stood and smiled at the students after removing the cream from his eyes. Glynn even let Morin “pie” him again so that staff member Jared Berry could video it. Later Berry said he planned to use the video for students to write their own books.

SMPS Principal Michael Glynn smiles at students after getting a pie in the face Friday afternoon, April 1. Students at the Livermore school read 5,728 books during a Read Across America month-long challenge. Glynn also kissed a pig as part of the students’ reward for exceeding their 4,000 book goal. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

“Continue reading, next year you will have to think of something bigger and better for meeting the reading challenge,” Glynn told the students.

“They blew it right out of the water,” Bolduc exclaimed. “We tried to do lots of literacy based things. Some students completed two ‘Reading BINGO’ sheets, authors birthdays were posted, some teachers decorated their doors.”

Each BINGO sheet had 25 squares naming a different way to read. Some were reading with a flashlight, reading upside down, read while standing up (try one foot), and read using a whisper voice.

A poster on one school wall indicated a child reading 20 minutes a day would read 1.8 million words a year. Reading five minutes daily equaled 282,000 words with one minute resulting in only 8,000 words annually. Students in the three groups scored in the 90th, 50th and 10th percentile respectively on standardized tests, it noted.


Books read in class by the teacher and students reading to each other at home were counted, Bolduc said. For every 50 books read a red heart was placed on a poster near the school entrance showing Glynn kissing a pig, she noted.

“We wanted kids to get that exposure to books,” she added. “Kids’ exposure to books is important. They were enjoying what they were doing.”

Glynn knows every student by name, Bolduc said. “[Glynn] is such a good sport, is awesome with the kids. He inspires them, commented each day [on the challenge]. He bought every child a brag tag with “I helped read 4,000 books” on it.

“There are lots of special things to celebrate,” she continued. “[Glynn] goes above and beyond.”

Comments are not available on this story.