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Kissing For A Cause

Principal Makes Good On Reading Challenge

As part of a reading challenge reward, Sonja DuBois, Bemus Point Elementary School principal, kissed a pig Tuesday afternoon. “It turns out that students will do pretty much anything including a ton of reading,” DuBois said. Submitted photo

BEMUS POINT — “It’s amazing what students will do to see their principal kiss a pig.” That’s how Sonja DuBois, Bemus Point Elementary School principal, described a two-week effort to have students read for at least 60,000 minutes.

“It turns out that students will do pretty much anything, including a ton of reading,” added DuBois, who on Tuesday made good on a promise to kiss an actual pig as part of an incentive to encourage reading by students. “The students were so committed that they completed the objective of reading at least 60,000 minutes in less than two weeks.”

Milestones to keep up the momentum were met quickly, DuBois said. A beach-themed day was held after students reached 20,000 collective minutes; a movie day took place after 30,000 minutes were passed.

“Being able to enjoy an event like this during COVID and with COVID restrictions in place didn’t stop the momentum of the reading experience and the culminating celebration of watching their principal kiss a pig,” the principal said.

The pig, named Wilbur, came from the Schauman family in Panama, where they breed and show swines for 4-H. Hannah Schauman, a sophomore at Panama Central School, was accompanied by her grandparents, Jan and Dave Schauman, at Bemus Point on Tuesday.

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