Students at the Lillian M. Jacobs Elementary School participated in the school’s 18th annual Read-a-thon event recently and raised a record $20,000 after having read for more than 200,000 minutes during the weeklong event.
“The Jacobs School raised an astonishing $20,000 this year, which is over twice the amount we raised during their previously held record year of 2018,” Jacobs Principal Christine Cappadona said. “The students surpassed their reading goal of 195,000 minutes by reading 214,500 minutes, which is also a tremendous accomplishment.
“I want to thank all of the students and the entire Jacobs community for making this event so special and successful this year. It really shows what this school is capable of, no matter the circumstances.”
The Read-a-thon kicked off on Feb. 26 with a virtual assembly. Jacobs Assistant Principal Kyle Shaw led the assembly and was joined by the “Reading Pirate” as event details were introduced. The Read-a-thon officially started that afternoon and ended on Sunday, March 7.
Students were provided with reading logs to track the number of minutes they read during the event, as well as a PTO fundraising log. They were told that individual awards and classroom awards would be given to top readers and fundraisers. Additionally, a school-wide reading goal of 195,000 minutes was set as a motivating incentive attached to the goal.
School staff members volunteered to have their names added to the “Read-a-thon Wheel”; if the goals were met, at least one of the staff members would be “silly-stringed” from head to toe.
“The ‘Reading Pirate’ is a famous fixture at the Jacobs School,” Shaw said. “Every year, he anchors his ship at the school and comes ashore to catch students reading. However, this year, the ‘Reading Pirate’ decided to practice proper social distancing protocols and sent messages in a bottle to each class.”
Every student in the school was tasked with a personal reading goal based on their grade level. These included 200 minutes for pre-K, 250 minutes for kindergarten, 500 minutes for grades one and two, and 750 minutes for grades three, four, and five. Students who reached their goal earned a piece of treasure from the “Reading Pirate”’s treasure chest.
Each classroom was also tasked with a class-wide reading goal. Clues were provided by the “Reading Pirate” in rolled-up parchment paper when each individual classroom reached a quarterly mark. The clue provided a hint as to the “Reading Pirate”’s favorite book in each grade level. Classrooms that received all four clues were able to guess the Pirate’s book in an effort to win the book for their classroom library.
Every class that reached their reading goal was also entered into a raffle for a gym game.
Also, as part of the event, students received a Read-a-thon pledge sheet to bring home to begin collecting pledges. Students were encouraged to get pledges from relatives and neighbors; due to social distancing protocols, pledges could even be given online this year.
During the wrap-up assembly on March 12, individual, classroom, and raffle awards were announced and prizes were presented. The class that read the most minutes was also awarded a school-wide art project as a reward for its hard work.