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Valley schools raising thousands of dollars with Read-a-thon

Posted at 8:50 AM, Oct 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-15 11:50:25-04

PHOENIX — Innovation is breathing new life into the Read-a-thon. This is safe, socially distant, high-tech fundraising that comes with a bonus of getting kids motivated to read!

Students commit to 10 reading sessions over the course of two weeks. Then, friends and family are asked to make a one-time donation, and so far in Arizona the numbers are impressive!

Kristina Brown volunteers at Sonoran Sky Elementary where her kids go to school in Scottsdale. The entire school is celebrating raising $58,789.

Brown says, "The students love it. The parents love it. And when you get your admin and your teachers to love it and stand behind it, it's a win-win for everyone."

Other schools across the Valley are also doing very well with this read-a-thon fundraiser. Among them, Cochise Elementary raised more than $46,000, Boulder Creek Elementary raised more than $21,000, and the kids at Bridges Elementary in Gilbert also raised roughly $21,000.

Brown says, "Each kid has their own platform on their own website. And they get to track their minutes, see their success, look at their comments from their donors, and which usually is not just Grandma and Grandpa, but it is a great excitement for them to see their reading minutes go up, their donations also to go up."

Read-a-thon is the brainchild of Harold Gottlieb, a grandfather who understands firsthand why school fundraisers are so important.

"My grandkids call me Bubbles. So when I get an email that says, 'Dear Bubbles, I'm participating in a reading event in my school, would you help me?' Well, I've melted first. And I'm like, heck, yeah!"

The school pays nothing to sign up and Read-a-thon gets 20% of each donation to cover fees for operating the fundraiser.

To get your school signed up, it's easy to do -- just go to