Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Going Bananas

School uses monkey business to encourage reading
[IMAGE] South Lebanon Elementary School Principal Erick Cook greets students in a gorilla costume outside the school Tuesday.
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Photos by Michael Snyder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

After losing a bet with his students, South Lebanon Elementary Principal Erick Cook donned a gorilla suit Tuesday.

Cook, also the mayor of Fairfield, challenged his 265 students to read 2,000 books. Two months later, they had read 5,000.

[IMAGE] School counselor Dave Winebrenner, in a "Bananaman" costume, reads to Adreanna Essman during an assembly.
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Cook dressed in costume and stood on a lift to greet students when they arrived at school. To keep with the spirit, school counselor Dave Winebrenner dressed as "Bananaman."

The "Go Bananas" day was part of the school's reading initiative sponsored by student council.

Throughout the challenge, "Gorillas are readers, too" signs were posted throughout the hallways and were on staff announcements.

Cook is involved in a similar initiative in Fairfield.

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