Almost 60,000 children in Liverpool and Leicester are this autumn taking part in “readathons” to raise money for Read for Good, a charity that provides children in hospital with books.
The charity has partnered with two local literacy organisations - Whatever it Takes in Leicester and Liverpool Learning Partnership - to encourage school pupils to read books for fun and raise sponsorship money at the same time. Almost 60,000 children in 155 schools signed up to take part in a readathon, with the Leicester scheme running in October and the Liverpool event taking place now (5-16 November).
Every school that takes part will be able to keep 20% of the money it raises for its school library. Another 10% will be donated to literacy projects in their city and the rest will be used to buy books for hospitals, including Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool and Leicester Royal Infirmary.
Authors have travelled to Liverpool and Leicester to take part in events, with Tom Percival and Adam Baron going to Leicester, and Sarah McIntyre and Phil Earle visiting Liverpool. Minecraft YouTuber Wizard Keen is also going to Liverpool to visit schools.
McIntyre, who is also a patron of Read for Good, said: “I get asked to support a lot of charities, but the one I've chosen to champion is Read for Good, because what they do is so important: bringing books to children in hospital. The Readathon is a great way to encourage empathy in children who support Read for Good, helping them imagine what it would be like to be in hospital, possibly for very long stays; how stories might inspire a child who's poorly to imagine bigger and better things outside the walls of the ward.”
Several publishers have donated books for the schools taking part in the readathons and hospitals, including Macmillan Children’s Books, HarperCollins Children’s Books, Oxford University Press and Barrington Stoke, whilst the Beano, Chicken House and author Philip Reeve have offered prizes.
Read for Good said it is currently looking for cities or academy chains to run readathons in 2020, as well as charity partners.
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