Grace Baptist Academy Principal Brian Gottschall reads to his students at Grace Baptist Academy in Farmington on Thursday.
Grace Baptist Academy Principal Brian Gottschall reads to his students at Grace Baptist Academy in Farmington on Thursday. (Jon Austria/The Daily Times)
FARMINGTON — Grace Baptist Academy students sat in the school parking lot on Thursday morning, squinting into the sun as they watched Principal Brian Gottschall read from atop the church roof.

Students listened to Gottschall read several short stories, including a tale from "Aesop's Fables," from the steeple roof.

The assembly marked the end of the school's Read-a-thon campaign, which involved fundraising and academic challenges.

Gottschall said the goal of the Read-a-thon was to increase the reading level of all the 88 students enrolled at the Farmington private school.

"We wanted to emphasize on reading in education and in life," Gottschall said, adding that reading is "fundamental to any education and progress in life."

The Read-a-thon's initial fundraising goal was $8,000. And then Gottschall added another incentive. He volunteered to sleep on the church's roof for one night if students reached the $10,000 mark.

Students beat that goal, raising more than $11,500, as of Thursday. Gottschall said he plans to sleep on the roof May 2.

Also during the assembly, fourth-grader Albert Glass was honored for raising the most funds he brought in $1,900 and he was given an outdoor remote control helicopter toy.

Eighth-grader Linda Peralta said she enjoyed the fundraising challenge.

"I really like the competition, and I think it was something fun for everybody," she said.

During the week, Peralta said the homeroom teachers set up reading challenges for students to encourage them to read.

Teachers tracked the number of pages students read, and students read in each of their classes on Thursday.

Kindergarten teacher Karen Guthrie said she brought in more books for her students to read on Thursday and was happy to share the excitement of reading with them.

"I get to teach them to read, and it's great to introduce them to other books and subjects," she said.
Students at Grace Baptist Academy listen to the school’s principal, Brian Gottschall, as he reads on top of the roof on Thursday as part of the
Students at Grace Baptist Academy listen to the school's principal, Brian Gottschall, as he reads on top of the roof on Thursday as part of the school's Read-a-thon fundraiser. (Jon Austria/The Daily Times)


Sophomore Joshua Gibbs sat in Thursday's assembly and read "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien while Gottschall read short stories aimed at the elementary students.

Gibbs said he enjoyed the entire school coming together to read, and he is looking forward to Gottschall sleeping on the roof.

"It's a good way to get the little kids to read more," Gibbs said. "It's a good thing because we need more scholarly intuition in this country."

Joshua Kellogg can be reached at jkellogg@daily-times.com; 505-564-4627. Follow him on Twitter @jkelloggdt.