Approximately 80 sixth and seventh graders who read one million words this school year were challenged with a messy, muddy, and exciting obstacle course. The cross country trail behind Mt. Vernon High School and Fortville Elementary School was turned into a 10-station “Read for Your Lives” challenge course for the afternoon. Dana Hochstedler, Mt. Vernon Middle School Media Specialist, along with Tanya Lott, Media Assistant, kept track of students’ word counts through the year and also spent many hours organizing the challenge course for the students.
Approximately 40 sixth graders and 40 seventh graders were eligible to participate in the “Read for Your Lives” course by reading one million words. The students were divided up into teams of three. One team member completed the station’s task while being timed. The team with the most points at the end wins.
To make the day even more fun and messier, random students hid in the woods with “flour bombs” to throw at the team. They also sprayed silly string at them and tried to take the team’s flags tied around their waists. If the team made it through the course with their flags they received additional points.
There were also three “Riddlers” stationed throughout the course that were staffed by members of the Mt. Vernon High School Education Professions class. A few middle school students were photographers for the day, and a high school student videotaped the activities and will be creating a video.
Some of the messier highlights the students enjoyed included bobbing for brussel sprouts, diving for pennies on a muddy tarp, throwing cheese puffs at a mound of shaving cream on the teammate’s head, and an eating challenge with less than desirable food items.
The 10 stations included:
1. Knock ‘em Down – knock down three two-liters with a softball
2. Bobbing for Sprouts – bob for five brussel sprouts in a tub of water using only teeth
3. Muddy Buddy – search for pennies on a tarp of mud using hands (extra point for faces in the mud)
4. Shoot ‘em Up – knock over 10 plastic cups with a Nerf gun
5. Stick to It – one team member had a pile of shaving cream on their head and teammate throws cheese puffs at it trying to get all 10 cheese puffs to stick
6. Face the Cookie – lean head back, place a cookie on the forehead and use only the face to move the cookie to mouth
7. Heavenly or Otherwise – choose one of four covered plates and eat whatever is on the plate (Choices throughout the afternoon included: sardines in hot sauce, smoked oysters, flavored larvae, cheddar cheese or sour cream/onions-flavored crickets, or candied ants.)
8. This is Corny – throw wet sponges at the corn hole
9. Are You Sure? – eat a strawberry infused with a random, non-desirable sauce (wasabi, srirachi sauce or mustard)
10. Breakfast Scramble – complete a cereal box puzzle
The Assistant Principal, Ben Williams, was a great sport by voluntarily trying most of the challenges. He made some sour faces after trying two different strawberries. He also took a turn at the other food station, eating both of the crickets while commenting that he recommended the salty treat and they were probably full of protein. He gave “Bobbing for Brussel Sprouts” a valiant try as well.
The team winners of the day were:
6th Grade: Team 3 Aden Cappelletti, Jack Greer and Gavin Schug
7th Grade: Team 2 Dominic Mellentine, Luke Rappe and Aiden Alford
Hochstedler spent many hours organizing the challenge course and is brainstorming different rewards for next year. Hochstedler is hoping to receive a grant she submitted to the Mt. Vernon Education Foundation which would reward the top 30 students who read the most. If the grant is funded, students will get to pick out a book for the school library at Barnes & Noble and enjoy the afternoon at the bookstore.
See the Mt. Vernon Middle School Photo Gallery for additional photos.
See the video that High School student Chris Mapes produced below.