Why did Cherry Hill teacher David Sonnheim spend the night sleeping on the roof of Richard Stockton Elementary School?

No, not in search of higher education. No, not to re-enact the plot of the first Hangover. Think charitable cause. He was challenged by his principal James Riordan to agree to spend a whole night sleeping on the roof of the building if the kids could get 2,000 cans of food for a food drive. This is the same principal who once agreed to get a pie in the face if students met their goal to help out the Cherry Hill Food Pantry. At some point along the way in public education, staff figured out a great motivator for children is to see their teachers and principals humiliated.

It paid off.

The kids so badly wanted to see Sonnheim have to sleep on the roof in a cold tent they collected 2,077 cans of food. That's a lot of help for a lot of needy folks. Funny thing about rising to the challenge is David isn't the camping type. In fact he had never slept in a tent before, not even as a kid, until the night he spent on the roof of the school.

He went up at 2:45 pm and was there for the kids getting out of school fifteen minutes later to cheer on, or heckle. True to his word he remained there all night. Parents even drove their children by throughout the evening just to see that he was really sticking to it. And he was. Cherry Hill police rolled through every now and then to check on him. He got through the night watching an Eagles game and with a lot of support.

Hats off to Sonnheim and all the kids. It sounds like a great community that really knows how to inspire their students. Kudos!

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