Reading, Raising, Amazing: Leicester schools unite in city’s first mass Readathon
Boy wizards and hungry caterpillars are on the curriculum for schools across Leicester this autumn as pupils in the city’s nurseries, schools and colleges join forces for the city’s first-ever mass Readathon, which will also bring the power of stories to Leicester Children’s Hospital at Leicester Royal Infirmary.
The event, one of the first of its kind in the country, is being organised by the Leicester-based Whatever it Takes team with charity Read for Good, which has been running its Readathon in individual schools since 1984. More than 50,000 pupils in 100 schools across Leicester are being invited by Whatever It Takes to participate in the mass sponsored read. The event will run across both Leicester’s Everybody’s Reading literature festival as well as National Libraries Week in October (1-12 October) and the organisers are looking for schools to officially sign-up now for their free Readathon kits. At this point in time there are already over 7000 pupils signed up to take part! - Amazing.
Read for Good Chief Executive, Justine Daniels said: “We’re going to be welcoming authors to cheer us on our Leicester Readathon and holding several simultaneous DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) sessions across the city – we’d love workplaces to join in too – basically building a buzz about reading because learning to love to read as a child is one of the greatest things you can do. We know Leicester already goes above and beyond as a city to get every child reading and so we’re hoping that schools and local businesses will embrace our Readathon in the same way that they’ve championed other citywide reading initiatives.”
Children taking part in the event will be sponsored to read whatever they like – from comics to classics – with the emphasis on reading what they love. Twenty per-cent of whatever a school raises will be used to buy books for its library, 10% is going to support Whatever it Takes wider work on literacy projects in the city and the rest funds Read for Good’s unique programme bringing a regular supply of books and storytellers into all of the UK’s main children’s hospitals, including Leicester Children’s Hospital.
Leicester Children's Hospital's Ward Leader, Danny Riley said: “Read for Good’s storyteller and bright-orange mobile bookcase are well-known at Leicester Children's Hospital where the service has been running since 2014. We love the loop of children in our schools reading to bring stories into our hospital. The power of stories to entertain and uplift is something I've seen first-hand at our hospital with Read for Good."
Project Managers for Whatever it Takes, Kate and Nicky said: “We are incredibly excited to be joining forces with Read for Good to run Leicester’s very first city-wide Readathon. Promoting a love of reading is at the heart of everything we do and if we can raise some money for a great cause at the same time then that’s an added bonus. Please do get behind our city’s children and young people, whether that’s holding a ‘DEAR’ session in your workplace, sponsoring a local school or just creating a buzz around reading in your local area.”
For more information and to sign-up, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit