Wilbur wasn't happy about getting out of his cage.
But as Crestwood Primary School Principal Beth Trivelli puckered up to give him a kiss on Thursday, the 6-week-old pig squealed with delight -- or was it fear?
Trivelli kept her promise to her students after students kept their promise to read, read and read some more during the month of January. The 440 kindergartners, first graders and second graders joined forces to read 2,270 books, exceeding the goal of 1,500 books. One class of kindergartners, she said, read more than 200 books that month.
"As a school, it's very important that we read every night," said Trivelli as she addressed the children. Behind her were visual aids brought by local farmers as a tribute to "Charlotte's Web," the book being read aloud in every classroom.
Mantua farmer Jerry Cavanaugh, whose 6-year-old daughter, Mary Chesla, is in first grade, brought the pigs. Larry Guyette, father of first grader Abby, 6, and second grader Elaine, 8, brought a miniature horse, calf and two sheep. At the end of the assembly, children filed past the pens to see the animals close up.
In addition to reading the E.B. White book, each student was given the book "Spiders" to read at school and at home. Hallway decorations paid tribute to the farm, spider webs and fair mentioned in the book.
Cavanaugh brought his older daughter, Morgan Chesla, who gave a PowerPoint presentation on the pigs and the other animals at the family farm.
Trivelli said only a rural district such as Crestwood would be able to involve the community in a project like this. "You really are some school," she told the students.
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