Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy

R.L. Stevenson Elementary students slime their principal after successfully reaching reading goal

Christina Desiderio will do almost anything to motivate students, even if that means letting them pour different colors of slime on her to the sound of their cheers at the start of a school day.

That’s what the principal at R.L. Stevenson Elementary did during an assembly Monday morning, all because the students had read for more than 100,000 minutes over the span of two weeks.

The students who participated in the “Read-A-Thon” were also sponsored by supporters for every minute they logged for reading, which resulted in the students also raising $14,000 for the school’s Parent Teacher Assn.

The money will help pay for field trips and other student activities, said Stevenson parent Nicole Martin.


Desiderio’s eagerness to sign up for stunts comes with her knowing the antics will motivate students.

A few weeks ago, after her students met her challenge to purchase more than 1,000 books at the school’s book fair, Desiderio dressed like a clown.

During the last school year, she took a pie in the face while she was plastic-wrapped to the wall of a handball court. It was banana cream, her favorite.

Another time, she agreed to work at a desk atop a roof during recess.


“Promising a stunt can be very motivating to students, especially from their principal,” Desiderio said. “As a person who values relationships, building them with my students is like putting money in the bank. They see me as a real person who can be fun, but when I need to be serious, they respect me because they know I care about them,” she said.

For Monday’s stunt, Martin made the slime with her kids the night before by mixing water with corn starch and food coloring.

They filled seven plastic containers with slime, and, after each of the containers were poured over Desiderio, she tossed some of the slime at the students sitting in the front row.

“They loved it,” Martin said.


Kelly Corrigan,

Twitter: @kellymcorrigan