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Principal takes on the rain, encouraging kids to read

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GILBERT, Ariz. -

The weather was no match for one elementary school principal who braved the rain in an effort to get kids at his school reading.

This principal proved that he will do anything to get his students reading! When we paid him a visit in Gilbert it was only about 50°!

He stayed in those chilly temps all day, getting soaked.

Rain poured down while students at Ashland Ranch Elementary shouted "we won, you lost" at their principal -- Bill Roth spent the day perched in a tree.

"I lost the bet," he said.

Principal Roth challenged his students to read for 390,000 minutes over two weeks.  If they did, he'd wear a sock monkey suit and sit in a tree all day. They read for more than 450,000 minutes

"We had no idea it was going to rain.  We planned on this about a month ago and low and behold, I couldn't weasel out of the bet, so I'm sitting in the tree today in the middle of the rain," he said.

This is certainly the worst weather he's endured, but Principal Roth is no stranger to pulling crazy stunts to get his students motivated.

"I was a human hotdog, a human breakfast, I wore a morph costume all day and I shaved my head into a mohawk last year," he said.

The kids say his tactics work.  Each fall, they look forward to winning the bet and seeing what Principal Roth will wear!

"It's really fun and exciting," said 3rd grader Kylie Propps.

"I think that was a great idea," said Payton Jaego, who read for 2,715 minutes.

"I am happy I lost the bet.  If me sitting in a tree is gonna foster a life long love for reading, I'll do it every day," said Roth.

Roth finally came down from the tree at 4 p.m. Friday.

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