Read for Good is hoping groups of schools will raise money to purchase books for children in hospitals, as well as for their own libraries, by joining together to run sponsored reads.
The charity has been running its Readathon sponsored read scheme since the 1980s but is now hoping that schools in academy chains, cities or counties will team up to run the event as a group. “Last year we ran a Readathon with an academy trust in Gloucester which has 10 schools. It was our first experience of running a readathon in a wider group of schools and were surprised by the community effect—the whole thing had a much bigger buzz,” Read for Good c.e.o. Justine Daniels told The Bookseller.
“We then teamed up with the Liverpool Learning Partnership to work across the whole city. More than 70 schools took part, raising £16,544 and counting. The plan was so successful in Liverpool, we want to do more,” she said.
“Having a shared goal is wonderful. It creates healthy competition. We want to work with cities or counties and there is such a difference in the way schools are structured, [and so] now it’s time to work with academy trusts.”
The money raised by schools is donated to Read for Good’s hospital programme, which donates new books and organises visits from professional storytellers to 30 hospitals in the UK. However, Read for Good gives 10% of any money raised by a school back to the institution in the form of vouchers it can use to buy library books—a figure that is doubled by Scholastic Book Clubs.
“These vouchers are fundamental to schools now that budget cuts are taking their toll,” said Daniels. “We also give National Book Tokens [of a value of] £10 to every school for a child who has gone the extra mile. It’s a nice way of completing the circle.”
Participating schools can also win a visit from the charity’s patron, actor and author Tony Robinson.