Colonial School students read a ton during Read-A-Thon; 311,000 minutes to be exact, raising $31,649

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For the first time in its history, Colonial School held a Read-A-Thon, an event in which students read as much as possible in January to raise money. The event brought in $31,649 for cultural arts programming.

Colonial PTA President Mary Heffner said, “The main goal of the Read-A-Thon is too raise money for Colonial’s cultural arts programming, which has declined because of lack of funds. After the Read-A-Thon, I hope that students will keep reading. This event is a great opportunity to reach the twenty-minute-a-day goal set by their teachers. The Read-A-Thon is based off a fundraiser in a school called Milton Elementary School, and that school got the idea from a different school in Brooklyn. To pay for the use of the website, they took a small percentage (about 2 percent) of the money raised.”

Students were asked to keep track of how much they read in a folder, and submit it at the end of every week from the beginning to the end of January. Then, over each weekend, parent volunteers calculated the total minutes read by each class. The results were posted on a scoreboard outside the office of Principal Tonya Wilson. 

On an app called 99 Pledges, Colonial parents, friends and relatives made either flat-rate donations (such as $50 or $60) or donations per minute (such as 20 or 30 cents per minute of reading).

Aside from raising money, the classes competed against the others in their grade; the class with the most minutes in their grade received a $50 gift certificate for a party of their choice.

Here are the winners by grade with minutes read:

  • Kindergarten: Kathleen McCarthy’s class, 13,521 minutes
  • First grade: Jeanette Golkowski’s class, 16,898 minutes
  • Second grade: Kathleen Dragan’s class,  21,712 minutes
  • Third grade: Angela Montelione’s class, 23,541 minutes
  • Fourth grade: Ron Martucci’s class, 24,505 minutes
  • Fifth grade: Jeneane Salerno’s class, 27,473 minutes.

In total, Colonial read for more than 311,000 minutes. 

“My favorite part about the Read-A-Thon is that it encourages kids to read,” said fifth grade teacher Piera Pulcino. “I think that kids will continue to read because the Read-A-Thon helps develop healthy reading habits, and the Read-A-Thon will also help kids better appreciate and understand literature.”

Students received pins when they reached “minute milestones” of 100 minutes, 250 minutes, 500 minutes, 750 minutes, 1,000 minutes, 2,000 minutes and 3,000 minutes.

“My favorite part about it is probably the cool pins you get,” said Luca Shaw from the fifth grade.

The class that read the most minutes was Salerno’s fifth grade class, and the class that brought in the greatest amount in donations was Martucci’s fourth grade class.

“I especially enjoyed the competitive aspect of it,” said Jonathan Magambo.