FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is a Read-a-thon?

Read-a-thon is an exciting Kiwanis Club of Ottawa literacy program specially designed for schools. The goal of Read-a-thon is to help children from Kindergarten to Grade 8 become better readers and better learners by nurturing a joy of reading.

Through Read-a-thon, students are challenged to read more at home and at school. Special classroom activities and school-wide events help children share the reading experience and have fun doing it!

This site provides a free School Guide and tool Kit that includes everything you need to launch and run a Read-a-thon in your school:

  • Step-by-step implementation materials
  • Easy-to-do ideas for classroom and school-wide activities
  • Materials for communicating with your school community (including student handouts), media and other target audiences

How does Read-a-thon work?

During Read-a-thon, the emphasis is on reading and building literacy skills. For three weeks during the school year, students agree to read every day and keep track of what they’ve read and/or minutes read by filling in their individual Student Reading Records. Parents, teachers or caregivers initial the Student Reading Record to verify what the student has read. Reading takes place in the classroom and at home.

At the end of the program, students tally up their individual reading, and class totals are tallied as well. The totals are brought together to create a grand total based on school-wide participation. The totals are especially important if your school is working toward a financial goal or rewards such as library books, class sets and other literacy tools.

How can my school get involved?

  • First, read the School Guide for more detailed information on Read-a-thon.

What resources are available to help run Read-a-thon?

The Kiwanis Club of Ottawa has developed all the supporting materials you need for Read-a-thon. They’re all available right here on this website!

The School Guide and Tool Kit include everything you need to launch and run Read-a-thon in your school:

  • Step-by-step implementation materials
  • Easy-to-do ideas for classroom and school-wide activities
  • Materials for communicating with your school community (including student handouts), media and other target audiences
  • Local sponsorship sample request letters

Can Read-a-thon be used as a fundraiser? 

The Kiwanis Club of Ottawa developed Read-a-thon primarily as a literacy improvement activity; however, many schools have successfully used Read-a-thon as a fundraiser to raise money for the purchasing of books and resources for their school library. Schools keep 100% of the funds they raise.

Does the entire school have to participate? 

Read-a-thon works best if the entire school participates. But if some in your school are reluctant to participate, don’t let this stop you from promoting literacy in your classroom! Individual teachers can easily hold a classroom Read-a-thon.