Educators Soar in Bet with Students

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HAZLETON -- Teachers in Hazleton kept their promise Saturday afternoon after a pledge to get kids and their parents reading.

Students at Arthur Street Elementary School read more than 6,000 books this year. So, four staff members held up their end of the deal and strapped on parachutes.

Hundreds of parents and students from Arthur Street Elementary School waited with anticipation on the tarmac at the Hazleton Municipal Airport to see if teachers would keep their promise after these kids exceeded the goal for the school's reading challenge.

Assistant Principal Carolyn Morgan says she needed something unique to
motivate kindergarten, first and second graders to read books with their parents.

"Teachers were saying to me:'what do you think you could do as an incentive?'", said Morgan."I said, jump out of a plane!"."

"We had to read 3,000, but we read more than 7,000," said one of the students.

So, Miss Accidio, Ms. Starrick and classroom volunteer Mary Lou Postupack joined Ms. Morgan. They strapped into parachute harnesses before taking off in two planes.

With the help of tandem trainers from Above the Poconos Skydivers, the women jumped from the planes, pulled the cord, and parachuted down to earth, gliding to a stop in the grass.

Back on solid ground, students and parents gave the educators a standing ovation.

This is Mrs. Postupack's tenth year volunteering in first grade classrooms at Arthur Street Elementary. Students know her as their "foster granny". She says the view from above was incredible and she'd jump out of a plane again if it encourages students to keep flipping through the pages with their parents and teachers.

"I help them grade papers, read with the children and all, and do a lot of other things that they don't have time to do," she said. "It's helping the kids and I love it."

At last check before the finally tally, students at Arthur Street Elementary read a total of 7,726 books.