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Read-A-Thons, or reading marathons, are most commonly associated with the MS Readathon. Children read books and are sponsored through donations, which go towards helping people who are living with multiple sclerosis.
Taking part in the MS Readathon is a great way to introduce kids to fundraising and charities, but Read-A-Thons can be used for a range of other fundraising activities for schools or local community groups. Read-A-Thons can be a great way to inspire kids to read books, while also helping a good cause.
What to Do:
The first step of any read-a-thon is deciding what the fundraiser is for. The MS Readathon is run in Australia, Ireland, the US, and Canada. Some local UK branches may also run a MS Readathon. You can still run a read-a-thon to raise money for any cause that is important to you, your family, or your school. There are other organisations that can help with the organisation for your read-a-thon like this one in the US, or this one in the UK.
Kids can get sponsors from friends and family members. Some people may sponsor a certain amount per every book read, while others will sponsor a fixed amount. Kids will have a lot of fun watching their donations grow.
Let kids pick books they're excited about reading. They don't have to be long novels or serious books. Kids should read within their reading level and they should be reading the kinds of books they enjoy. A read-a-thon is a good excuse to visit the library and pick up some books they haven't read before.
Even magazines and comics can be read during a read-a-thon. It's all about enjoying reading, rather than forcing kids to read when they don't want to. Reading of any kind has plenty of benefits, even if its not from a traditional book.
Once the time period is up you can tally up all of the donations and give them to your chosen charity. Organisations like the MS Readathon will often have a certificate for participating and sometimes there are cool reading-related prizes. If you've organised a read-a-thon through home or school without an external organisation you can print off your own certificates to congratulate all the kids involved.
Read-a-thons are an easy way to combine learning with charity. Kids will learn about the ways they can help those around them, while also enjoying the stories of their favourite books and characters.