Martinez Elementary School Principal Michele Sherman kisses Petunia the piglet held by parent Robin Payne on Thursday as a reward for her pupils meeting reading goals.
Photo by Valerie Rowell
Pink pig snouts filled the playground of Martinez Elementary School on Thursday.
But Principal Michele Sherman had to kiss a real one, not the paper ones worn by her pupils.
The pig-kissing was a reward for the pupils if they met reading goals set by each grade level, Sherman said. For example, kindergarteners read 100 books together in the first nine-weeks.
"All in all, thousands of books were read," Sherman said. "I had parents tell me that children who don't like to read rushed home to read just to see me kiss a pig. It was real rewarding."
Petunia, a small gray-and-white piglet, wasn't what most of the pupils had in mind. Georgia Latremouille, 7, said she was hoping for a big fat hairy pig.
The pupils crowded in a circle to watch the kissing as Sherman donned her overalls, pigtails and freckles.
After she kissed Petunia, many of the pupils squealed like piglets when Sherman threatened to kiss them, too.
The school is full of pupils who love to read, said school media specialist Deborah Holmes, who said the pig display will be replaced by a Lewis and Clark expedition display to track reading and the expedition on a map.
"They are just readers here," Holmes said. "We have parents who support the reading at home. We are lucky in that respect."
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