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Aurora bookstore showing giant tape ball

Cowherd School's enormous ball tape display Culture Stock AurorIll. Thursday Dec. 20 2012. Language arts teacher Matt Harding his class

Cowherd School's enormous ball of tape on display at Culture Stock in Aurora, Ill., on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012. Language arts teacher Matt Harding and his class are trying to break the world record for "largest tape ball." They began this year and quickly outgrew their classroom space. | Corey R. Minkanic~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 25, 2013 6:06AM

Gaining 100 pounds a month isn’t necessarily a good thing, unless you’re a student of Cowherd Middle School teacher Matt Harding.

In October, Harding’s language arts classes began their quest to break a world record by creating the world’s largest tape ball. Using their letter writing and advertising skills, they solicited masking tape donations from across the East Aurora School District — and the country.

“We have a map where we have marked off all of the states tape has come from,” Harding said.

Donations have come in from New York to Vermont, and the ball just keeps rolling.

As the end of December nears, the tape ball has grown to around 300 pounds, and outgrown its space in the Cowherd classroom where students have worked tirelessly to make a dent on the world title.

With more than 1,700 pounds to go, it will be a while before any record is broken, but Harding said he has the utmost faith it will happen.

“There are no time constraints,” Harding said. “We can go on forever.”

Until it does, the students needed a new space and cool place to work on their record-breaking ball, and they found both at the recently opened Culture Stock bookstore in downtown Aurora.

Harding and several custodians moved the 300 pound ball to Culture Stock this week, where it is on display for all to see.

During winter break, students can stop at the book store to work on the ball, and residents from across the city are invited to join in on the effort.

“People from all over the community can come work on it,” Harding said.

He plans to have a registry book placed next to the ball, that participants can sign to get recognition.

Come spring, Harding said his plans are to move the tape ball back to Cowherd where he hopes to clean out a garage which will become the ball’s home.

The current record for “World’s Largest Tape Ball” is held by the Portland Promise Center in Kentucky, set in May 2011. That ball weighed 2,000 pounds and had a circumference of 12 feet, 9 inches. The tapes used in that giant ball included duct tape, electrical tape, masking tape, gaffers tape, packing tape, foil tape and athletic tape.

Harding’s class intends to use just masking tape to reach its goal. Masking tape donations can be sent to Culture Stock in Aurora, at 43 E. Galena Blvd., or to Cowherd Middle School, 441 N. Farnsworth Ave.

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