Frequently Asked Questions
Many people have heard of walk-a-thons and bike-a-thons where people pledge money to some cause for each mile or kilometer walked or biked. A read-a-thon is similar except people or organizations pledge donations for each book or hour read. In our case, it is for each hour read.
We envision a twist, however, in that we will be offering the ability to make conditional pledges. For example, on might pledge some amount per hour but only for those readers who read more than a certain number of hours during a day, week or the entire read-a-thon. Alternatively one might pledge some amount for the class that has the highest number of hours read per student within a school, school district, city, etc. or the school that has the highest number of hours read within a school district, city, county, state, etc.
The read-a-thon has 2 primary purposes:
- get tens of millions of young people currently in school to dramatically increase their reading practice for the extended period of a month, thereby improving their reading proficiency.
- raise money to dramatically reduce the number of children, worldwide, that are currently out of school due to hunger (those too weak to go to school, those who have to spend their days begging or foraging for food in dumps and other places and those who have to work as children to pay for food to survive).
The number of participants in such an event as a global read-a-thon is almost impossible to forecast. In some countries, participation may depend on a decision by one person at the national level that either encourages all to participates or says nothing. Saying nothing in a country where education is very tightly controlled at the national level. We will be doing our best to publicize the read-a-thon and win global and national partners to maximize participation. We need to remember that 70 million participants is only around 5% of the student population in the world. Keep in mind, however, that if only a few countries representing 5% of the world’s student population were to get the majority of their students to participate (say 67%) then less than an average of 2% of the students from the rest of the world would be enough to achieve the goal of 5%. See maximizing readers for more details.
The total number of hours read is a function of the average number of hours read per participant and the number of participants. The guideline for most libraries for read-a-thons is 30 minutes a day. for a month-long read-a-thon (30 days) this means roughly 15 hours per participant. However, we also envision adding a number of factors to encourage a competitive environment to encourage students to maximize their hours read. See maximizing hours read for details on how we will work to maximize the average number of hours read per participant.
The date of the read-a-thon has not yet been set. However, it is envisioned that the read-a-thon would last an entire month. March, 2019 is seen as a good candidate month.
It is envisioned that the funds will come from pledges of donations for every hour read during the read-a-thon. We hope that local service clubs will drive a lot of the pledges from local businesses and individuals for the hours read by local students. In other words, people and businesses will be encouraged to pledge some amount of money for each hour read by local students. (Keep in mind that one of the main goals of the read-a-thon is to incentivize students to read as much as possible. This will benefit those readers who are weakest based on the principle that (practice makes better”.) See Maximizing Funds Raised for further information.
It is envisioned that teachers will keep track of the hours ready by their students and then report the number of students in their class and the total number of hours read by all the students in their class (2 numbers per class). Key considerations include:
- avoiding the need for complex systems and high volume data capture to capture the number of students and hours read per class.
- avoiding privacy issues related to dealing with minors.
The manual records maintained by teachers will be used to select students for local awards ceremonies.
Funds will be able to be paid directly into a special account in a participating foundation such as the Rotary Foundation. It is expected that many local pledges will be paid into local service clubs, such as a local Rotary Club which, in turn, would submit the funds collected to a major foundation such as the Rotary Foundation.
Reliable NGOs specialized in providing meals in schools in remote impoverished areas will be invited to submit proposals. A qualified organization will review proposals and select appropriate NGOs to set up food programs for schools in appropriate areas. <Further details.>