By Tess Malijenovsky
Students at Riverview Charter School collectively raised an astounding $26,309.85 by reading in their school’s Read-a-thon fundraiser. A portion of the money raised will be donated to the non-profit organization Room to Read, and the remainder will buy books for Riverview’s classrooms as well as additional guided reading titles for the School’s Literacy Room. “It’s an easy way to make money to help out the school as well as other organizations. And the kids did it all!” said Andrea Dixon, Riverview’s learning specialist.
Over the month of September, students from kindergarten to seventh grade made reading goals for inside and outside the classrooms. The students logged the number of minutes they read each day, and found pledges that would honor every minute read. According to the Fund Development Chair, Jody Hayward, who came up with the idea for the fundraiser, “It’s not just parents writing a check. [The kids] are talking to their grandparents, aunts and uncles, and neighbors and friends. So it’s a lot of little kids coming together to make a huge contribution to the school.”
Last year, Riverview had the goal of raising $5,000 and was blown away when they raised a total of $18,000. This year, the kids surpassed their goal again of $25,000 by reading 321,406 minutes. “The best part,” said Dixon, “was that we had so much more participation. Last year we only had 54 percent, but this year 72 percent of the kids participated.”
To prompt the kids to read, the Director Allison Thomas dressed up as storybook characters. Riverview bookmarks were given to each kid that participated and a drawstring knapsack was rewarded for those that met their reading goal. Also, more than 30 community members, parents and grandparents participated in the Read-a-thon as “Mystery Readers” by coming into the classrooms and reading with students.
The Read-a-thon not only helps students and parents kick off the school year with good reading habits but also brings awareness to children on the importance of literacy around the world. Room to Read, which will receive $2,500 from Riverview, partners with communities throughout the developing world to provide books, education and new classrooms for children. In addition, Riverview collected 18 large moving boxes of books during their Used Book Drive to donate to Better World Books.
“And that’s a big part of what Riverview strives to do — to not only teach the kids about what’s going on in their immediate world, but also what’s going on in the world around them and how they can contribute and make a difference,” said Hayward.
By Tess Malijenovsky