The Readathon is a Different Kind of Marathon

“Education and reading are circular – the more a person has of one, the better the development of the other.” (Chall, 1996).

We couldn’t phrase it better. We acknowledge the importance of reading, and create our curriculum emphasizing literacy in every level. 

Last year, our English teachers Will Amosa and Stephanie Hall Türkkan started a marathon for our Middle School students. It’s not like the marathons you know; it’s for reading! The Readathon lasts two weeks with students reading outside the classroom. 

Mr. Amosa and Mrs. Stephanie explain the purpose of this project, “The Readathon helps build and instill positive reading habits in students. We want to use the platform of the Readathon to promote reading outside the classroom.” 

First and foremost, our teachers want students to value the pleasure of reading. They say, “We would like them to understand that they can choose to read independently, whenever and whatever they wish.”  Thrillers, historical fiction, picture books, anything! Our teachers describes it as “non-judgemental reading promotion”.

Getting ready for the marathon, teachers share daily book trailers during homeroom lessons to make students aware of books they may enjoy reading. After all, non-judgemental reading requires open-minded advice.

This year, focused on encouraging and strengthening the school culture of reading, Readathon 2019 began on October the 7th. Aim is high: all Middle School students need to cumulatively read 1500 hours.  For two weeks time, students will notify their teachers of their reading time, and teachers will keep record.

Building up reading stamina is important. Our teachers chose to measure minutes read instead of measuring pages or the number of books read. They say, “This way, we wouldn’t be measuring student’s reading in terms of volumes or pages but rather in time spent reading. As we recorded our student’s reading time each week, we would gently encourage our students to see if they could read even more the following week.”

At the end of two weeks, our teachers state with confidence that we will be impressed by the final number of total hours. Already, We have examples of students having read for fifteen hours in one week. This is exactly what we were hoping for, say our teachers. “If we can encourage just one student to get hooked on books during this period then this Readathon will have been a success.”