It was a long way up and the wind was brisk enough to send papers flying, but Principal Dee Martindale spent an entire school day on the roof of Reynoldsburg's Summit Road STEM Elementary School last week.
Since students collected more than 35,000 box tops in a program that earns the school 10 cents for each box top, Martindale honored her promise to them and worked aloft Monday, June 3.
The roof adventure wasn't the only challenge. At 15,000 box tops, Martindale let students duct-tape her to a wall in the cafeteria for an entire lunch period.
"The kids came up to me and fed me chicken nuggets," she said.
At 25,000 box tops, she had to kiss a pig in front of the whole school.
"I got off pretty easy on that one," she said. "It was a baby pig and he was pretty cute."
PTO Treasurer Paul Sheridan said the total number of box tops collected this year was 37,040.
"The PTO will use the funds to continue to provide funding for the Accelerated Reader program at Summit Road, as well as supporting funds for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) projects in each of the grades," he said.
Being up on the roof all day presented some technical problems for Martindale, who said fourth-graders designed a simple machine to get things up to her.
"I made a video for the fourth-graders, challenging them to design a contraption that would allow me to get my things up to the roof," she said. "They brainstormed and tested various ideas and prototypes in their classrooms. The final design was a single pulley system that anchored to the roof and our school courtyard."
She said classes of students came out to the courtyard and visited with her at recess or other times in the day and wrote letters that they hoisted up to the roof.
"One class came and wrote me a note asking me to do a cartwheel, tell a joke and sing a song, so I did all three," she said. "Another class came out to the courtyard for their reading time to keep me company. The rest of the time, I worked from my laptop and visited with the kids while they were at recess."
Martindale said she was happy to work on the roof for a day.
"It was great to see the kids get so excited about all the things that we do here at Summit Road," she said. "I am blessed to work with such a great group of teachers and parents."
The box top program is run through Box Tops 4 Education, at boxtops4education.com.
Box tops were collected from a variety of grocery products and other items. Parents could also create an account with Box Tops online and shop through the Box Tops Marketplace and look for Bonus Box Top promotions at local stores.
Summit Road STEM Elementary has a Facebook page to update parents through the summer, with photos of recent school events. School information can also be accessed on the district website, at reyn.org. Click on the "schools" link and find Summit Road.