External Relations Manager, Annie Smith

For more than 30 years we’ve been motivating gazillions of individual schools to read for fun through our Readathon. External Relations Manager, Annie Smith explains how we now want multiple schools to join forces to unleash its power across whole communities.

From the world’s biggest coke-mentos demonstration to the largest number of people dressed as Smurfs, mass participation events are all the rage. So how about a mass Readathon?

We know that our sponsored read has worked beautifully in individual schools for whole generations. Schools that run it are already part of a glorious loop of kids reading whatever they like to help other children get books: both in their own school library, and through our unique programme bringing the power of stories to children in hospital. Our mobile bookcase and resident storytellers operate in all of the UK’s major children’s hospitals and in the last five years alone, we’ve given over £900,000 worth of books to school libraries. Oh, but we can do more…

A report on barn owls by my eldest boy taught me recently that a group of them is a Parliament. We haven’t yet invented a collective noun for multiple schools all joining forces to run Readathon – I like a mustering – but that’s what we’ve been piloting for the last year – beginning with an LEA in Ealing, an academy chain in Gloucestershire and finally, a whole blooming city.

Last term we had 20,000 children all raring to read in more than 70 primary and secondary schools across the city of Liverpool. They raised more than £16,000 and our bookcase at Alder Hey now bears a permanent dedication to their amazing effort. Most of all though, working with fellow charity, the Liverpool Learning Partnership, we saw a huge school community abuzz about books, reading and stories.

We’re looking for new partnerships with cities, charities, councils, academy trusts, festivals and education bodies who share our passion for building communities of readers. We know that loving reading changes lives, but first you must read! Our Readathon is a time-tested (since 1984) proven model that motivates even reluctant readers to give reading a go. We’ve seen the impact our sponsored read has on an individual school body, so we’re keen to explore the exponential benefits when more schools muster in a united mission. Please get in touch with me if you’d like to be a part of our pilot.

annie@readforgood.org or ring 01453 839005 to join in.

External Relations Manager, Annie Smith
External Relations Manager, Annie Smith