There are some books that can literally encourage an entire generation to fall in love with reading. As far as parents, caregivers and educators would hope, this could be the starting point that will allow a young person to embark upon a lifelong love affair with the written word. It's really all about discovering the first book that is suitably engaging and fun to read.
The enjoyable nature of reading can take on a fun and competitive element with a readathon, which is an ideal way for a school or community group to raise funds while promoting literacy and encouraging the ongoing love of books. If you feel that your school or community group (and your students or members) would benefit from a readathon, what are some ways to get this type of literacy program off the ground?
The purpose of the readathon can be simply to raise money or it might be to raise funds for a specific project for your school or community group. It can also be to benefit a literacy charity. Participants in the readathon can also locate sponsors themselves who would agree to pay the participant a certain amount (ideally rather minimal to encourage sponsorship) for each book that has been completed.
In terms of students, the timing for a readathon is crucial. This is also the case with a community group where some members might still receive schooling. It can certainly take place during the semester, and yet it's important that the readathon doesn't clash with any important school activities that might require the student's devoted time, such as exams. It could be possible to arrange the readathon prior to the summer holidays so that students can report back with all the books they've read.
It can be prudent to select a theme for the readathon that encourages inclusiveness. You want to choose a series of books (or theme) that will be readily accessible. Some parents might purchase books for their children in order to participate, but this might not be within everyone's means. For this reason, opt for a popular series, or perhaps even classics. This means that a ready supply of books can be accessed at either a school or public library.
To encourage participation, you might wish to award prizes for achievement. This could be for the most funds raised, and for the most books read (which are not necessarily the same thing, depending on how much sponsorship the participant was able to raise). The nature of the prizes depends on your budget, and you might wish to approach corporate sponsors to assist you.
A readathon is a fantastic way to promote literacy and encourage a love of reading that will continue into adulthood.