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Principal puckers up to pig

June 03, 1998|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Waynesboro

by Joe Crocetta / staff photographer

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Principal kisses pigPrincipal puckers up to pig

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Three years ago, Greg Hoover, principal of Greencastle-Antrim Elementary School, had to dress up as Elvis and put on a concert for his students.

Last year he had to ride in a hot-air balloon. This year he had to kiss a pig - twice.

"I have no idea what they have planned for next year. I'm afraid to find out," he said.

Hoover tries to be a good sport about his ordeals.

"It has an obvious value because it motivates students to read. We do all we can," he said.

Thursday's pig-kissing at the school culminated a year's worth of effort by staffers to get about 1,200 Greencastle-Antrim elementary and primary school students to read books during the school year.

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The goal for the third annual incentive program was to get the students to read a total of 34,000 books between September and June.

"They surpassed it. They read 46,772 books," said Molly Moran, program coordinator.

Throughout the year, students were encouraged by seeing a large jar fill up with candy corn, piece-by-piece, each time a book was read, Moran said.

A special computerized program kept track of the books read by the elementary students. Parents signed off on books by students in kindergarten through second grade, Moran said.

The candy corn was given back to the students as a special treat after Thursday's program in the elementary school gym.

Hundreds of students sat on the floor screaming like bobby-soxers at a 1941 Frank Sinatra concert every time something on stage delighted them, like Hoover's smooch with a baby pig brought in for the occasion.

The program was split into morning and afternoon sessions to accommodate the students in both schools.

Hoover won the right to kiss the pig by losing a game of "Pigardy," a spoof on the television game "Jeopardy," to Assistant Principal Mary Frey.

The game, which dealt exclusively with pig-related questions, was hosted by Schools Superintendent P. Duff Rearick, dressed in blue denim coveralls and a fake pig nose.

The students also heard guest reader Pam Reed of Hagerstown do a dramatic reading of a pig-related story.

Samuel Laughlin, 10, a fourth-grader, figured it was Frey's turn to kiss the pig.

"Mr. Hoover has already had to do too many things," he said.

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