North Oyster Elementary School has just completed a 14-day read-a-thon fundraiser.
The event, organized by the school’s Parent Advisory Council, started back on January 15 and the students were able to read for a combined total of over 38,000 minutes both at home and at school.
Melanie Williams from the PAC was the instigator for the event that looks to improve literacy skills at the school.
“All the money raised will go towards the kids and help fund things the school can’t pay for,” said Williams. “For example, field trips and extra curricular materials as well as reading materials that aren’t paid for by the school, the PAC will help to pay for that.
“Also, with the things parents can’t afford but [those] that everyone needs each year, the PAC will help with that. So if a child at the school hads a special hot lunch but can’t afford to pay for it.”
Over 17,000 of the reading minutes have been accumulated whilst the students have been in school with various classes choosing to read books on their snack times.
The school also has a “read-o-meter” set up so students and staff can view the exact reading of minutes involved with heads and eyes engrossed in literature.
“The kids have put a lot of hard work into this and deserve a lot of credit. It’s about getting the kids reading and enjoying reading,” said Williams, who took up the reigns initially with regards to bringing the event to North Oyster.
Williams and co decided to go ahead with the event after a conversation with school principal, James Pascoe, acknowledging that the school’s literacy was down.
“I wrote a lot of letters and about 15 people came forward and donated as well as local businesses and banks.”
The final day of the read-a-thon was Friday Jan. 31.
Williams also confirmed that she will use some of the funds raised to help kick-start a gardening program she wants to set up this month that teaches kids how to eat more healthily.
The school eventually reached a total of 57,081 minutes of reading time and raised over $1,400 in funds.