When it comes to young students, some lessons just stick.
Marc Gorenstein, King-Murphy Elementary’s physical education teacher, helped bring one important lesson home to pupils on Thursday when he allowed himself to be duct-taped to the gymnasium wall by students and faculty.
The duct-taping was for a good cause: The students had raised more than $3,100 in the school’s Brain Aerobics, a fund-raiser sponsored by the student council. The money will be used for a variety of things, including helping to pay for field trips, playground equipment, classroom support and other student council-initiated programs.
This is the fifth year that the school has done Brain Aerobics. Last year, rather than duct-taping a teacher, the teachers danced the “Hokey Pokey” as the reward, and the kids loved it.
Gorenstein, who is 6-foot-8, wore a long-sleeved T-shirt and sweatpants as he stood on a short chair, looking a bit apprehensive while strips of gray, purple, maroon and blue duct tape were wrapped tightly around his arms, legs and torso. Children who participated in the fund-raiser each were given one piece of duct tape. In all, 205 yards of duct tape were used.
The Brain Aerobics fund-raiser works like this: Students are given 25 to 50 grade-appropriate facts to learn and then take a test based on the information. For the second-graders, for example, facts ranged from how many letters are in the alphabet to what is the Spanish word for “red” to who was the first president of the United States.
In the meantime, the students asked for donations from friends, family and neighbors based on the number of questions they answered correctly. About 80 of the school’s 200 students brought in donations and therefore were given the honor of placing a piece of duct tape on Gorenstein.
As the children taped Gorenstein to the wall, he had some advice for one child: “Watch out for my smelly feet.”
Then it was the teachers’ turn. Each put a piece of tape on the completely covered Gorenstein.
As the final act before the chair was removed, third-grader Aiden Kocol, who raised $208, the most of any student at the school, climbed a ladder to plant a whipped-cream pie in Gorenstein’s face.
Then, as the students chanted “Pull the chair! Pull the chair!” teacher Samantha Kreider pulled the chair out from under Gorenstein’s feet.
Lo and behold, he stayed on the wall. Amid the screaming of 200 very excited children, he strained his arms and legs against the duct tape.
Gorenstein said he did it because it was for a good cause, and he was surprised that he stayed on the wall.
“I thought I would slide right out of there,” he said, mentioning that he wasn’t excited about the pie in the face.
“He’s been a really good sport,” said Kreider, who is the student council adviser. “We didn’t really ask him to do this; we told him.”
As the students in unison thanked Gorenstein for his participation, Kreider told them: “I really hope everyone in P.E. is really nice to Mr. G tomorrow.”