By William Thompsaon: Quay County Sun
San Jon Elementary School students might want to change their mascot from coyotes to bookworms as they have gone on a reading tear since the beginning of the school year.
They get points for each book they read, and earn prizes as a school.
So far, they have earned enough points to earn a field trip to Clovis to see a movie.
Second grade teacher Ernie Rogers came up with the idea of rewarding San Jon students for the number of books they read.
“I drove back and forth to Conchas over the summer, and the idea came to me to start this reading program,” Rogers said. “The students are excited about the field trip to Clovis. We are going to see a movie there called Because of Winn-Dixie. The movie is based on one of the more popular books the students have read this year.”
The students are looking forward to earning enough points that four lucky students will have the opportunity to trim Rogers’ and Superintendent Craig Stockton’s goatees at a special assembly.
All of the elementary school students who earn points will be entered in a drawing. When the students earn 2,005 points, four names will be drawn to do the honors of cutting the beards.
“Two students will trim my goatee and two will trim Mr. Stockton’s goatee. I expect the students will reach 2,005 points sometime around spring break,” Rogers said.
Some fourth grade students are looking forward to chopping off Rogers’ beard. When they see Rogers in the hallway they make beard-trimming gestures at him.
The students aren’t the only one’s excited about Rogers’ nearly four-inch long goatee being cut.
“My wife will be just as happy as the kids when my goatee is trimmed,” he said. “She hates it.”
But the point of the goatee was to get the kids reading, Rogers said, and it’s working.
Second-grade student Taylor Hayes said her favorite book so far is Roald Dahl’s classic, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. She said she has read around 70 books this school year
“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory had lots of surprises in it,” said Hayes. “I read a lot of books at my house.”
Fourth-grader Matthew Evans said he likes the Hank the Cow Dog series.
“Hank always does funny stuff and the books have a lot of adventure in them,” Evans said. “I’ve been reading a lot more books this year.”
Fifth-grader Justin Pullen prefers the books of R. L. Stein.
“They are kind of like mysteries,” Pullen said. “You can really get into them. I usually read library books before I go to bed.”