Evergreen Read-A-Thon asking for community involvement

Evergreen Elementary School is holding its third annual Read-A-Thon from Feb. 27 to March 13, and they are asking community members and local business owners to come together in order to encourage students to read.
The Read-A-Thon is something that Principal Jenny Jones stumbled upon accidentally in the search for fundraisers that students could participate in during the COVID-19 lockdown. It is an interactive online platform that parents and teachers can use to log and monitor students’ reading progress.
Friends and family can make donations toward the student of their choice, and can offer words of encouragement through the dashboard feature of the platform. Whether it’s $10 or $100, any donation amount is welcome. In their first year, the fundraiser made approximately $5,000, a number that the school has yet to surpass. Jones is hopeful that this year they will break their previous record.
The fundraiser benefits the students’ classroom, as the classroom that makes the most money gets to celebrate with a sweet treat like ice cream or root beer floats. Ultimately, the proceeds go toward providing each student and staff member with a free Evergreen Elementary T-shirt.
“It’s not a competition for prizes, but more for bragging rights,” Jones explained. “The kids feel like they have ownership of a project that pays for something that they want.”
While T-shirts may be the material goal, the ultimate aim is to encourage a love of reading. Now, Jones is asking community members to support this fundraiser by submitting video entries of themselves reading their favorite children’s book. This will serve to show students that reading is something that can be enjoyed at any age. She encourages local business owners and Evergreen alumni to find “little books that are appropriate for all ages” and tell students a fun story. Examples would be books from the Clifford the Big Red Dog series and the Little Critter series. Past submissions have included college students, firefighters and retired teachers, all of whom want to see the next generation of Eagles thrive.
If you would like to encourage an Eagle’s literacy, the donation link can be found after Feb. 27 on the Illinois Valley community website and Evergreen Elementary’s Facebook page, or you can contact Evergreen Elementary at 541-592-3136 for more information.