Yampa Josie Rossi read more than 600 books during the school year.
Titles like "Popcorn, Popcorn" and "Clap Your Hands" and the Cowboy Dan series top the 7-year-old's list of favorites.
"I read all the time," she said.
Rossi, a first-grader at South Routt Elementary, had her nose in a book "all the time," not only because she enjoys reading, but also because her principal made her and her schoolmates a promise.
Troy Zabel, principal of South Routt Elementary, told his students at the beginning of the school year that he would reward them for nine months of reading outside the classroom.
He and the staff at the elementary school mulled over ideas last fall to encourage students to read more at home.
Students who read beyond the classroom walls, Zabel said, are more successful in class.
"It really helps the teachers out," he said.
He and the teachers decided on a reading challenge that would motivate students in all grades to participate.
The motivating factor for students proved to be Zabel's promise to do some crazy things if they collectively reached a reading goal.
Zabel kept his promise Friday.
The principal of South Routt Elementary walked into Yampa's Cuttin' Corral at about noon with brown hair and walked out an hour later with blond hair.
He told his students he would have his hair dyed blond if they read 10,000 books during the school year.
Fortunately for Zabel, his students did not reach the next goal.
He would have worn a dress at school if the young readers reached the 20,000 benchmark.
But the change of hair color sufficed most students.
Loki Antyr was one of many kindergarten students who waited anxiously to see a very blond principal.
Antyr, 6, said some of his favorites were "Lettuce," "I Like" and "You."
"I wanted my principal to have blond hair," he said sheepishly.
His classmate, Emily Harris, said she read so much at home to help the school reach its goal.
"I read a lot every night so we could see Mr. Zabel's hair blond," she said.
Kindergarten teacher Mary Shanklin said she enjoyed seeing so much enthusiasm for reading from all grade levels.
Students initially started off strong in the fall, but as the school year wore on, she said, interest fell off slightly.
Reading picked up again toward the end of the school year, as students realized they would meet their challenge, she said.
The students wrapped up the school year with 10,033 books under their belts.
About 8,000 small pieces of colored construction paper line the hallways, marking the first 8,000 books read.
Zabel said there was no room for another 2,000 pieces of paper.
The school held an assembly every time students read 1,000 books.
One student clipped a small section from Zabel's tie at each assembly, until next to nothing remained at the final assembly called to celebrate the 9,000 benchmark.
The principal said he couldn't be more pleased with his students and the success of the reading challenge.
Although summer vacation takes the students away from school for a few months, Zabel has constant reminder of them and his promise throughout the summer.
He's stuck with blond hair until it grows out.