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Mt. Carmel Principal to Spend Day Reading Atop School

Christine Olszewski will spend Wednesday on the roof of Mt. Carmel as part of a national contest.

What's better than reading a few good stories?

How about reading them a few stories up?

Christine Olszewski, principal of the lower school at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Essex, will greet students from atop the building on Wednesday, where she'll be from 7:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. reading as part of a bid for a national contest.

"I figure I might do some reading for my enjoyment and the kids are welcome to come out," Olszewski said. "They'll be on the ground, of course."

The marathon is part of National Yound Readers Week. A challenge sponsored by Pizza Hut dares school principals to pledge a day this week to "read your heart out." Principals who do so get their school entered to win 100 copies of "The Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel" for the library and a copy autographed by author Jeff Kinney for themselves.

"I was like 'Sign me up,' really, because I love to read and I forget in my busy life," she said. "I don't have a chance to read so if I have an entire day where I can just read, that would be great."

There's nothing in the contest that required where principals do the reading. But her staff and faculty insisted, she said, that left to her own devices and the confines of her office, she would start checking emails and attending to other duties. So they suggested she go on the roof.

Wednesday is expected to be sunny with highs in the 50s, fortunately for Olszewski. And on her trusty Nook, it will be "Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs." That book, along with Thanksgiving and Christmas classics and past "Wimpy Kid" books will be keeping her company during her more than seven hours atop the building.

She said her students are excited for her attempt, but inquisitive too, asking about things like the weather and bathroom breaks.

"My kids are concerned about my well-being," she said with a laugh.

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