On Your Marks, Get Set, Read!

Posted On March 9, 2016 By | No Comments on On Your Marks, Get Set, Read!

Off to the races – “The Reading Race,” that is!

Led by teacher and author Abby Klein, students from Orchard School in South Burlington put on their running shoes, er – their reading shoes – and busted out a successful “reading race.” Inspired by their teacher’s book, the students asked friends and relatives to donate one penny for every minute they read. The money earned would then go to a worthy nonprofit organization.

“I feel very strongly about promoting literacy and instilling a love of reading at any early age.  I also have a passion for community service, and I think it is important to teach children to look beyond themselves and make a difference in the world around them,” Klein said.

COTS Results2

Students from Orchard School Present a check and banner to COTS staffer Lori Goldman.

And what a difference the students made! The weeklong race (Jan. 29-Feb. 5) results: 102,445 minutes reading and $1,115 raised for COTS! Wow!

“A reading race is a great way to encourage kids to read and at the same time, raise money for a worthwhile cause,” Klein said. “I think that children are more invested in raising money if they know that the money will be used to help kids like themselves who may not be as fortunate as they are.”

The teachers and were inspired by COTS’ #172vt campaign to raise awareness about childhood homelessness.  The idea of standing up for your peers who might not have secure housing really resonated with the race participants.

“We knew right away that COTS would be our charity,” said Donna Sullivan-McDonald, Orchard School librarian and race organizer. “The students already had an awareness of the critical needs of our community, and we thought that childhood homelessness would go hand in hand with our earlier community service project. It’s also an issue that we deal with at Orchard School.”

Students were thrilled to see how much money they were able to raise for COTS — and we were thrilled to receive it!  The students raised enough money to help a family avoid ever becoming homeless through outreach and prevention!

And, we were so inspired by the students at Orchard School that we are now challenging other schools to a Reading Race leading up to the COTS Walk. Are you ready to Book it to the Walk?

Wait! There’s more: The elementary school that submits the most minutes read to COTS by May 1, 2016, will win a Literacy Storytelling Event from our partners at the Children’s Literacy Foundation (CliF).

AND, we need help from our middle school and high school students, too! For participating middle school and high school students, we are thrilled to support literacy and a love of reading through our partnerships with local Vermont authors Chris Bohjalian and Chris Tebbetts.  We need your school to create a team of readers and register for the Walk!  If you do, Chris Bohjalian or Chris Tebbetts could come visit your school as a gift to you! (Reach out to Lori at volunteer@cotsonline.org or 802-864-7402, Ext. 207 to find out how your school can be eligible to host one of these author visits.)

Thank you again, Orchard School! You’ve made us all winners

Categories: Advocacy, Children, Donations, Events

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