Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

May 14, 2013

Cannonsburg principal takes dunking-booth bath as reward for reading accomplishment

CANNONSBURG — Perched on a spring-loaded blue plastic seat, Jon Stevens dangled his feet in the icy water of the dunking booth and laughed at the good-natured taunts of the children surrounding him.

Stevens shivered in the cool May breeze and flinched a bit each time one of the children tossed a softball toward the big round trigger that would trip the spring and drop him in the drink.

Children chanted “dunk him, dunk him,” with each throw, until at last a sharp-eyed third-grader nailed the target and the Cannonsburg Elementary School principal splashed into the chilly water.

Reward paid in full.

Stevens agreed to the dunking booth ordeal earlier in the year as incentive to children in the Accelerated Reader program.

Children had not been taking sufficient interest in the program, which combines reading books and then taking quizzes to assess comprehension, said third-grade teacher Mary Beth Patton. Points are awarded for successful completion of each book and quiz.

So she set an initial goal for the grade of 400 points and promised that on completion they could duct-tape her son Morgan to the wall. Morgan Patton, a college student, is a classroom volunteer at Cannonsburg.

Soon the fourth grade caught the incentive bug and that meant upping the stakes, Patton said. That is where Stevens came in. For 2,000 points, he’d brave the dunking booth during the spring field day.

“I’m not a behind-the desk kind of guy,” Stevens said after his dunking. Getting out of the office and mingling with students is the best way to connect with them and motivate them to succeed, he said.

After a year of exhorting children to work hard and study, a cold dunking is a show of good faith, Stevens believes. “They know I have high expectations. This lets them know I care about them and would do anything in the world for them,” he said.

The final tally was 2,084 points, and the child with the highest individual accumulation was third-grader Rebecca Huffman, with 200 points.

The Accelerated Reader program increases reading fluency and comprehension and serves as a continuous assessment, Patton said.

Incentives bring a spirit of teamwork to the program. “It’s not child against child but working together as a team,” she said.

MIKE JAMES can be reached at mjames@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2652.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Morehead man faces drug charges

    A Morehead man is facing multiple drug charges after taking possession of a suspicious package mailed to his home on Dillon Lane, according to the Kentucky State Police.

    July 31, 2014

  • Highlands’ Artists Market to begin today

    Up-and-coming artists are being offered a rare chance to show and sell their work during the First Friday art walk.

    July 31, 2014

  • Dogonline.jpg 'Educate and entertain'

    A local theater group is shooting for changing the area’s theater scene.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 07/31/2014 — What's Happening

    Local news

    July 31, 2014

  • News in brief, 07/31/14

    About 450 marijuana plants were confiscated during an eradication effort in Lawrence County on Tuesday.

    July 30, 2014

  • 0731facelift1.JPG Painters finishing up work at ACTC

    When Ashland Community and Technical College students return to campus Aug. 18, they will find fresh paint, clean windows and pressure-washed brickwork on the college’s original building on College Drive.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Night Moves on tap for First Friday

    A chance to enjoy an evening run through the streets of Ashland will be among the things to do during the First Friday ArtWalk and Downtown Live for August from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday.

    July 30, 2014

  • Fairview school district being investigated

    State education investigators were scheduled to arrive in the Fairview school district this morning to interview school officials.

    July 30, 2014

  • Advisory committee on landfill to meet

    Members of the county’s new advisory committee regarding Big Run Landfill enforcement are encouraged to attend the group’s first meeting next week.
    Committee facilitator Mike Clevenger of Cannonsburg said the panel will meet the first Monday of each month, starting next week. For now, all meetings will be at 6:30 p.m. at the Boyd County Community Center.

    July 30, 2014

  • Highway dedicated in Morehead man’s name

    During Wednesday morning’s highway dedication ceremony for late airman Daniel N. Fannin, 30, of Morehead, the man was honored as a Kentucky hero for dedicating his life to the U.S. Air Force until his untimely death last year.

    July 30, 2014