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Principal Camps Out On Roof After Students Meet Reading Goals

Hawthorne Scholastic Academy Principal Nate Pietrini camped out on the roof of the school after students met reading goals set by their teachers. He read to students during a webcast from the roof. (Photo courtesy Nate Pietrini)

Hawthorne Scholastic Academy Principal Nate Pietrini camped out on the roof of the school after students met reading goals set by their teachers. He read to students during a webcast from the roof. (Photo courtesy Nate Pietrini)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – The principal of an elementary school on the North Side came down from the roof Friday morning, after he spent the night there when students accomplished a goal he’d set for them.

WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Berner reports it’s not a new idea, but it seems to work. Hawthorne Elementary Scholastic Academy Principal Nate Pietrini offered to stay on the school roof overnight if students met their reading goals.

The kids met their goals, and Pietrini lived up to his end of the bargain.

“I actually was reading while I was in my tent, for as much of the time as I possibly could, so that I could again reinforce to kids the fact that this is what we do. We are readers,” he said.

Students at Hawthorne Scholastic Academy arrive at school on Friday after their principal spent the night on the roof as a reward for students meeting reading goals set by their teachers. (Supplied to CBS)

Students at Hawthorne Scholastic Academy arrive at school on Friday after their principal spent the night on the roof as a reward for students meeting reading goals set by their teachers. (Supplied to CBS)

Pietrini had a whole system in place. According to the school, students spent the first 15 minutes of each day this week reading, or having someone read to them.

After students met their goals, Pietrini went out on the roof in a tent to spend the night on Thursday, despite the cold and winds.

“We had to put a 50 or 60 pound sandbag in the tent. So I had a sandbag as a pillow,” Pietrini said.

At times, people stopped by and yelled to him on the roof. He even had a webinar Thursday night, when he read to students over the Internet while he stayed on the roof.

He came down at 7:45 a.m. and read to kids again as they showed up to school.