Mysterious rubber ducks appearing daily at Mark Twain Elementary

Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 5:59 PM CDT
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BETTENDORF, Iowa (KWQC) - There’s a mystery at Mark Twain Elementary in Bettendorf - someone has been dropping off rubber ducks to the school every day since the beginning of the school year.

“At the very beginning of the year my para was putting away books and we just found a random duck. We didn’t really think anything about it. We just thought maybe someone left a duck, we don’t usually find ducks,” said Erin Waldron- Smith, librarian at Mark Twain Elementary, “Then the next day she found another one, and all a sudden they kept popping up. At first, they were easy to find, and then they got harder, and harder, and they started to multiply.”

Waldron- Smith says they find them in the morning before school and have no idea where they come from. Ducks now adorn the library including on top of ceiling lights, desks, and bookshelves.

“We have big sparkly ducks that we call disco ducks. We have teeny tiny baby ducks, we have ducks with themes, like on presidents day we got George Washington ducks. We have superhero ducks, we have Disney ducks, we have Minecraft ducks, we have ducks that have themes for holidays, we have animal ducks, we have sport ducks, we have all the ducks. We have lost count. Easily over 200 ducks,” said Waldron- Smith.

The librarian has used the ducks to create an incentive. When kids read a certain number of books they get to take a picture with a duck.

“They get to take a picture with the big, sparkly ducks, and then they are duck-tastic readers and they really like that so we have been able to take this and use it to create a positive reading environment,” Waldron- Smith said, “I think they are doing it to bring joy and something lighthearted. Education has been rough the last couple of years and this is something that is positive. Everybody in the building enjoys it. The kids love it.”

The librarian said the parents of Mark Twain students have gotten involved in the mystery.

“It’s very funny. It makes a lot of the kids excited to come into the library every day and ready to sit and read books and learn,” said third-grader Sydney Woomert.

To kids and teachers alike, the suspect is still a mystery.

‘It was very weird. I don’t think this has happened to anyone else ever,” said Woomert.

“It’s kinda weird to see something pop up without an explanation,” said fourth-grader Oliver Shoemaker, “It’s just too many at this point. Some day we are going to walk in and the entire floor is going to be yellow.”

This week the school started receiving Easter eggs with a duck-themed puzzle piece inside. Students and teachers are hoping it will reveal the identity of whoever is leaving the rubber ducks. Mark Twain Elementary wants to thank whoever is leaving the rubber ducks and say the daily gifts have brought joy to teachers and kids alike.

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