Barkley Bridge UBU

Charley Gaines

Hartselle Enquirer


A group of seven students piled spaghetti on Principal Susan Hayes just before school let out Thurs., Aug. 25, behind Barkley Bridge Elementary School to end their summer UBU Challenge.

The whole student body was out in the field behind the school. They sat on blankets, circled around home plate on the softball field, wore sunglasses and hats as they watched students who read books during the summer for the UBU Challenge. Students who completed the summer reading challenge spent 360 minutes of the break researching areas that interest them and learning something new about it.

“This was a reward for hours spent during the summer. Our hope…” said the Master of Ceremonies and event coordinator Jamie Dutton”…is that this will inspire and motivate all students to continue learning during the summer and create routines of reading and creating new learning challenges when it is easy to fall into the Summer Slide.”

Barkley Bridge teachers sat on the border of the group like shepherds watching their flocks while a co-worker sat in what most would probably consider a punishment chair.

Students and teachers alike cackled at each teacher selected by the group of randomly students to endure one “Messy Minute.” The event was a way to reward the students for the work they did during the summer. Those who participated got their name put into a hat and called up to the front to cover teachers in uncomfortably messy substances.

“Each activity was connected to a book title to encourage students to read those books,” Dutton explained.

First up to the plate for their Messy Minute Meltdown was Keri Rodgers, a first grade teacher at the school. Rodgers spun slowly in a circle on home plate for a minute while the seven students picked for the first group sprayed her with silly string. The book that went with the silly string mess was “The Squiggle.”

The next book was “Where’s My Mummy?” The second group of students picked Tisha Bates, the physical education

teacher. Bates was by far the luckiest teacher out of the group of nine teachers and staff selected. The kids rolled her in toilet paper as another teacher stood behind them and used a mechanical toilet paper dispenser that took the paper off the roll faster and more efficiently than the students’ hands.

The crowd of kids got really jazzed when the third group of students called Principal Susan Hayes’ name. The book? “More Spaghetti I Say.” The task? Spaghetti the principal. An industrial sized pot full of spaghetti was mounded on top of Hayes after she suited up in a poncho, trash bag and hair net (to some audible dismay expressed by some of the teachers). Hayes’ activity wasn’t as messy as Cindy Hagemann’s. Hayes was also sitting by Bates who helped her clean up a little with the toilet paper wrapped around her.

Hagemann was called to the front to sit in the chair while students made her into a human ice cream sundae. The third grade teacher suited up and had students piling sprinkles, syrup, ice cream and cherries on her. The book coinciding with her activity was “Babe Ruth and the Ice Cream Mess.”

The next book was Makeup Mess, which was a real crowd pleaser since the kids picked third grade teacher John Mark Waynick for the activity. Waynick sat in the fold out chair while the kids caked makeup all over his face and put a wig and hat on him. Jamie Dutton had to make sure to tell the kids to “gently” put Waynick’s eye makeup on him. She added about another 30 to 45 seconds onto his time as she joked with the kids and kept “forgetting” what number she was on and going back to 30. Waynick strutted around the semi-circle of children to show off his new look when the kids were done decorating him.

Melinda Shaddrix, a custodian at the school, sat in front of the students next and had green slime dumped on her. It didn’t take a minute, but the damage was a minute’s worth easily. Her book was “Stink and the Attack of the Slime Mold.”

The last three activities were connected to “Green Eggs and Ham,” “Little Cloud,” and “It Looked like Spilt Milk.” Teachers got egged, a plate full of shaving or whipped cream in the face or (you guessed it) a milk bath. The whole student body at Barkley Bridge got to see Amanda Godsey, second grade; Maureen Matson, kindergarten; and Kim Jared, gifted specialist, got covered in eggs, shaving cream and milk.

Before the students were selected to come up front for the Messy Minute activities, a few in the group who participated in the UBU Challenge got up in front of their peers and read a short summary of what they learned during summer vacation.

It was such a fantastic day and so full of surprises for the teachers and staff since they didn’t know if they would be the one to get messy,” said Dutton. “The also didn’t know which mess they would fall victim to when they got up there. “

It was hot, it was messy and the kids loved it.

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