Loganville-Springfield Elementary principal Scott Carl once again will take to the school roof, as he did five years ago, pictured here.
Loganville-Springfield Elementary principal Scott Carl once again will take to the school roof, as he did five years ago, pictured here. (file)

Because so many students in Loganville-Springfield Elementary School picked up a book in April, principal Scott Carl will sleep on the school's roof Thursday night.

The Dallastown school sent a letter home to parents in mid-April detailing a reading challenge for the students in kindergarten through third grade: If 80 percent of students read for an hour over the course of two weeks, Carl would dress up as a clown for the day — a nod to the school's upcoming circus-themed art show May 22. And if 95 percent of all the students completed the challenge, Carl would sleep on the roof, or "The Big Top."

Carl said the reading challenges happen every other year and are always related to the art show. At the end of the challenge, 98 percent of the students completed the required reading. Carl dressed up Friday as a clown, and Thursday will spend the night camped out on the roof of the school, dressed as a clown, of course.

Carl said the staff will decorate the rooftop to make it look as "circusy" as possible. Overnight, Carl will camp out in a chair with his laptop, perhaps to get some school work done. He spent a night on the roof five years ago for a similar challenge and didn't fall asleep that time.

"I don't intend on sleeping (Thursday) night," he said.

Some students have offered to lend Carl their stuffed animals and pillows for the night, which he said he'll borrow if they're given. And staff members have signed up for hourly shifts overnight to meet in groups of two or three to sit in the parking lot and talk with Carl during the night.

Carl will stay on the roof from 3:10 p.m. Thursday, before the school day ends, until school begins Friday morning. Students' families are invited to visit the school from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday to see Carl on the roof and to take part in dances and other activities.

— Reach Nikelle Snader at nsnader@yorkdispatch.com.