Read-a-thon aims to get kids excited for books

  • Nov. 12, 2014 3:29 p.m.

Father Henri Voisin Elementary School is encouraging literacy among its students through a fun read-a-thon fundraiser this month.

The activity is a way to encourage parents and students to be reading and to motivate kids to be excited about their skill. The kids earn pledges for the number of minutes they spend reading alone or with family members.

“Father Henri Voisin really has a big focus on literacy. The idea behind the read-a-thon is a culmination of that bigger goal of improving literacy and is a really fun way to get kids reading simply for the love of reading,” said Principal Denise Kofin.

“The big thing is to try and improve literacy in students – that’s our overarching goal. We want the kids reading more books and getting excited about reading. The second reason for this activity is to generate some funds for our school.”

To begin the read-a-thon, the school held a large party earlier this month with activities including having teachers reading to students, dancing, singing and having a talk about how wonderful books can be and how they can take students to another world, said Kofin.

On Nov. 21st, parents are invited to the school for an ‘action-packed literacy afternoon’. A guest author will read to the kids, talk to them about writing books and give details about the industry. There will also be members of Red Deer Catholic Schools who will bring their favourite books to students and read them aloud.

“It’s going to be really fun. We’re going to set up tents all around the gym so that students and parents can cozy together and read a book. We’re inviting everyone to wear their pyjamas and just sit together and enjoy reading.”

Literacy is an important pillar of education at Father Henri Voisin. The school has a huge focus on the subject and Kofin hopes that the read-a-thon will be a way to get students attracted to reading, simply for the fun of it. The event isn’t offering any prizes for pledges because the competition aspect of the program is only meant to get students to read.

Parents are encouraged to use this event as a way to get their children into reading. With parents there, kids can feel comfortable and confident, and can seek the help that they require to become better readers, said Kofin. The students are recommended to read a little each night.

“We know there’s a high correlation between students’ ability to read and success in high school and life. If we can foster that skill, the likelihood of them being successful adults is very much enhanced,” said Kofin.

“The benefits aren’t all academic – they are social and emotional as well. We know that for people who read, often that’s a release of stress. It makes kids better readers and better able to understand ideas. So we want to give them those skills – not just for the academic focus but all other benefits.”