Windsor Creek Elementary students went bananas Friday when Principal Julie Stearn showed up to school in a hairy gorilla suit.
Students had Corbin Post, 7, to thank for the treat. The second-grader earned 1,000 points on the Scholastic Reading Counts program and, as his reward, he requested the principal dress up like a gorilla for an entire school day.
“It blew me away,” Stearn, 49, said about the request, which the boy made during an award ceremony late February. “Never have I been asked that.”
Corbin concocted the idea for the costume with the help of some friends. His classmates at the second- and third-grade school couldn’t have been happier with his choice for a reward.
“It was funny,” he said about seeing his principal in the full ape costume, greeting students as parents dropped them off at school Friday morning. When parents picked up students in the afternoon, she was still in the suit.
“I laughed when I saw her,” said the boy’s mom, Diahanna Post, 47. “I think it’s pretty brave that she agreed to do that.”
Corbin read more than 100 books this school year to reach 1,000 points.
“He reads every day,” said his father, John Post, 48. “He reads at least half an hour before bed, and at least an hour after school.”
The Scholastic program awards kids points each time they finish a book and pass a comprehension quiz. The harder the book, the more points students get.
“That’s really huge,” Stearn said about the number of points Corbin earned. “We usually have one or two students who get to that a year.”
Stearn agreed to dress up after talking it over with staff. The goal was to encourage students to read more by making it fun and accessible.
“I’m a little more nervous about more kids getting 1,000 points,” she said. “What will the next request be?”
Corbin said he’s not done reading. He’s already earned an additional 500 points in hopes he can convince his principal to sleep on the roof of the school.
Asked whether she’d do it, Stearn let out a big laugh and said, “I don’t really want to spend the night here.”
She did say, though, she’d consider moving her desk to the rooftop and working there for a day.
“Anything for kids,” she said.
You can reach Staff Writer Eloísa Ruano González at 707-521-5458 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @eloisanews.