Squeals of delight waved through the California Elementary School multi-purpose room April 9 each time a new "topping" was added to the "administrator ice cream cones."
As a reward for reading 92,326 minutes as a school during the month of March and raising close to $11,000 for building projects, Principal Gary Baker and Assistant Principal Aaron Shewmake were covered in ice cream and toppings.
They stood in barrels decorated like traditional ice cream cones but turned out to be as messy as a melted sundae.
A former teacher once said "I would do anything it took to help you become a great learner," a syrup-drenched Baker told the students. "We'll do this again next year."
This was the second year for the school-wide read-a-thon, which began on Read Across America Day.
The culminating reward last year was duct taping the two administrators to the wall and throwing pies at them. But, that took too long, Baker said.
With 670 students, they had to divide them into two groups for the ice cream party.
Selected students had the privilege of pouring syrup, spraying whipped cream and dribbling sprinkles and cherries on the administrators.
Some were chosen because of their hundreds of logged hours of reading, like fourth graders Yareli Jimenez and Zoe Artelt.
Other students were selected for bringing in the highest donations, like third-grader Hadley Milligan and fourth-grader Madelyn Butts.
"I put cherries down (Mr. Baker's) shirt," Butts said.
Jimenez said she put an ice cream scoop on Baker's shoulder. Artelt poured chocolate syrup down his back.
And if time hadn't been up, Milligan said she was preparing to dump the remaining bucket of ice cream on him.
Although not designed as a fundraiser, last year's read-a-thon raised the funds to renovate the school library.
They will split this year's donations, including gifts from more than 60 community partners, among expanding the 1:1 device initiative, further library improvements and a future STEM classroom.
"We couldn't ask for a better overall environment," Baker said. "With kids, parents and the community, there's no ceiling for these kids."