Fruita principal may kiss snake at Fall Fest

Alicia Finch of Columbine Animal Hospital reveals what animal Principal Steve States will have to kiss if his students at Shelledy Elementary School reach their 50,000 minute reading goal.

The students at Shelledy Elementary have gone wild about the idea of their principal kissing a snake.

Principal Steve States issued his students a reading challenge: If they can read 50,000 minutes by Sept. 28, he’ll kiss a live snake in front of the entire town at Fruita Fall Festival.

The challenge was during the “Wild About Reading” kick-off assembly Monday afternoon at the school.

Members of the Grand Valley Zoological Society brought a long red-tailed boa for States to touch.

“I do like snakes,” States said.

The Zoological Society brought other interesting animals for the 500 students to learn about including an Sulcata tortoise, two Mali Uromastyx lizards, and a blue hyacinth macaw. All of the animals are hoping to be a part of a new zoo in the Grand Valley.

“Who wants to see a zoo right here in Fruita?,” asked Tracy Baron, educational director for the Zoological Society.

“Yeah!,” came a big cheer from Shelledy students.

So far, the society has reached 7,800 kids through educational programs and events, Baron said.

She’s hoping the children’s excitement will help create a buzz that will generate funding for the zoo.

The kids have until Sept. 28 to complete their reading goal. If they make it, States will kiss a snake on the head at the Fruita Fall Festival. The best readers from each classroom will join him onstage.

For more information about the Grand Valley Zoological Society, visit or visit their page on Facebook.


Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Search More Jobs

734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050; M-F 8:00 - 5:00
Subscribe to print edition
eTear Sheets/ePayments

© 2017 Grand Junction Media, Inc.
By using this site you agree to the Visitor Agreement and the Privacy Policy