I have to level with you.
It seems our first fundraiser of the year has gotten off to a bumpy start and I apologize for a less than polished event launch. As a first year President, I wholeheartedly appreciate your patience and graciousness as I navigate the myriad of learning curves that come with being inexperienced in this position.
All the things that go right and, even more so, the things that go wrong lead me to a better understanding of how to best serve you all as well as the Lewellens. I do not take this responsibility lightly and my goal is to build off of the incredible foundation that has already been laid. Clearly, I'm still finding my footing and, again, I am so thankful for your kindness as we go this journey together.
On that note, what do you say we just start over from the beginning?
Welcome Parents, Students and Friends to our Read-a-thon!
This year, we are excited to announce that we will hold a Read-a-thon fundraiser. Our Read-a-thon is a program that brings students together with family and friends to encourage reading and to build literacy skills.
The main focus of the Read-a-thon is for everyone to know we are committed to improving reading skills. To that end, the Read-a-thon promises to be a fun, exciting journey for all participants as they begin a personal Reading Adventure that challenges each reader to complete 10 reading sessions over our 2-week event.
Our Read-a-thon will start December 2, 2017 and will end on December 16, 2017. This week, we sent home paperwork with your reader explaining how you will activate their personal Read-a-thon page.
We understand that, as parents, you have high expectations for the quality of your child’s education but also have limited time. That’s why we chose to hold a Read-a-thon. You will find this to be the easiest fundraiser possible. By simply activating your reader’s personal page and using the promotional tools found there, friends and family anywhere in the world can show their support for your reader by making a donation to our Read-a-thon.
Your involvement in the Read-a-thon will help your child develop a lasting love of reading. We hope each one of you will activate your child’s personal page so they can start clocking their minutes.
Now that you parents know what we're doing here, feel free to show your awesome kids this video to get them psyched up about the event.
Note: this video was wrongly aimed at you and that was obviously not correct *gah*
Not sure where to begin? Use our step-by-step checklist to cut down on the overwhelm and get the ball rolling.
WHERE TO START?
Register your child with their secret code at www.read-a-thon.com/readers/
Create your child's profile as directed to log minutes
Help your child set a personal goal for total minutes read so they'll have a finish line to focus on
Make a list of everyone your child would like to inform about the event
Decide on 2 specific ways you'll reach out to family, friends, and neighbors (ex. email, in person, social media, snail mail, door to door)
Rehearse your script or write your messages with them until they feel comfortable addressing the people on their list
Unlike some "thons" where contributors pledge $1 for every lap completed and wind up having no idea what they'll owe on the back end, our model is super upfront. The program is not a pledged based fundraiser so the monetary value of contributions is a one-time gift to be put towards the school overall goal of swing sets & playground improvements.
This structure does two things: (1) it allows you to secure the donation before it goes flat and (2) it eliminates the 2nd contact that is generally necessary when selling goods or participating in traditional pledge-based "thons".
And just because we're tracking progress online doesn't mean all transactions have to be conducted virtually.
For long distance contributors, be sure to provide the website link to your child's profile page for real time donations
For local contributors, have your child collect cash or checks and turn it in to their teacher in an envelope with their name so it can be manually applied to your child's total
If a contributor asks to use Paypal, Cash App, or any other online payment tool, allow for processing then turn full amount in same as cash
Logging reading minutes is the backbone of this event.
And any reading material is fair game - magazines, novels, reading assignments from school, bedtime stories, cereal boxes. Sessions can be done at school, home, or both. Daily school reading time counts toward minutes as does reading aloud or being read to.
To track those hard-earned minutes, you may utilize either of the below tools:
1. Online Tracking - accessible through your child's read-a-thon dashboard and available as a real time minute tracker or manual input option
2. Reading Log Tracking Sheet - can be printed through your child's dashboard but will also be provide through the take-home packet
Please be sure to track your child's reading minutes so they have the opportunity to look back and see the big progress they've made. Seeing the minutes growing not only encourages your child but also shows your potential contributors that your child is ready to rock this thing!
How sessions are defined is up to you. If you want a session to be all compiled minutes in a given day, that's cool. If you want to create a new session every time your child sits down to read, that's OK as well.
The program challenge simply encourages students to fulfill 10 sessions of reading so feel free to interpret that in the way that works best for your child.
There are two ways to gain incentives during the fundraiser. First, we will be announcing prizes for one stand out class as well as a few individual awards next week. More on that soon.
In the meantime, incentives are also available directly through your student's dashboard by way of the Prize Center. When a student collects a donation, 15% of that total goes back to the student's account in the form of RAT Bucks for spending in the Prize Center at any time during the event.
All prizes selected from the Prize Center will be shipped directly to the school 10 days after the fundraiser ends.
Read-A-Thon has provided a host of helpful tools to get your fundraiser out there. Here are some ideas on how to share the event with as many people as possible.
Bethel is a young school. And it's flexibility and constant evolution is one of it's greatest virtues. As parents, we can help our school grow by encouraging our children to participate in fundraisers like this one to bring in cash for improvements.
This go round, we have our sights set on a new six bay swing set so students don't have to wait in line to swing. We also plan to add some flair to our ninja climbing course which is a student favorite.
Just remember that though fundraising is sometimes uncomfortable (because who loves to ask for money besides our kids?), we know that we can make things happen when we come together to work toward a common goal.
So let's get this party started, shall we?