What do I have to do to start our own Family Readathon?

We' want your Family READATHON experience to be as easy, fun and rewarding as possible. So, we've tried to provide you with just about everything you will need. You can read through the FAQs and then download our to see all that we have provided for you. We've included choices of done-for-you FREE DIY Family Readathon Kit(DFY) printables:

  • reading lists
  • bookmarks
  • graphics
  • sponsor lists
  • logo styles
The Kit contains suggestions for setting up your FAMILY READATHON; resources; and sample materials to use:
  1. Sample emails and letters you can use to contact potential sponsors and your local community orgnization which will benefit from your family's readathon.
  2. Types of community organizations you may wish to consider as the beneficiary of your readathon.
  3. Basic information that will help you set up a readathon that works for your family, such as how long to make your readathon; what kind and size of books to count; and things you can do to help engage children and family members of all ages.

How many people do we need on our READATHON team?

Since this is your family's readathon, the number and ages of team members is up to you! There are no set rules. Here's the only thing you need to remember: Focus on whatever works for your family - even if it's just two of you - and what will make it a fun and rewarding family activity is what counts! For our current FAMILY READATHON, we're excited to have my daughter's dearest friend and her son join the team! (Shout out to 'Indu and Ishan'!) Now, our team numbers 5 readers! Your FAMILY READATHON team doesn't have to be limited to your immediate family or rrelatives. You can ask friends, neighbors, single adults, colleagues, youth group or sport team members to join your team. And , you cn name your FAMILY READATHON team as you like.

  • Young children can participate by reading with a partner - older sibling, parent, grandparent, caregiver or other adult.
  • The type and length of book should be apppropriate to the age of the child or team member's reading level.
  • You can count really big books as two books read. That's what we've done with Jackson's book list, since he reads 400-500 page books. So his books of 400+ pages count as two books read.
  • Audbile books count, too. If they're lengthy books, they can count as two books 'read'.
  • For young children, it's more important to focus on their participation in helping to make their community a better place for families to live rather than how many books or the legnth of books they read.
  • For older team members, a healthy competition can be fun as long as they look at the end goal: Reading books to make the world a better place, even if it's just starting with their own community.

How many books do we have to read?

There is no magic number or minimum number of books to read. However many ybooks your team members can duringduring the time period of your readathon works. Individual members can set their own goall or the entire team may want to set a team goal. Just don't get too focused on how many you must read. Every single dollar raised to help your local community organization will help families in need in your community. So, it's very important to keep the three reasons to participate in a family readathon:

  1. Get involved in your community and show children and teens that - no matter their age - they can help make the world a better place.
  2. Encourage children, teens and adults to read more.
  3. Help community organizations that are struggling to meet the increased need of families during the challenging times of the pandemic and the impact it has had on so many aspects of our lives.

How long should our READATHON be?

Again, what works best for your family is what matters here. To help team members be engaged, we suggest a minimum of a month. That also gives team members enought time - particularly children - to read several books. We also think three months is a the maximum for most families. You can always build on your first successfull readathon, after a few months break. Or, you could consider making this an annual family event!

How many sponsors do we need?

This is your readathon. What works for you? Even just one sponsor makes a difference and helps you have a successful team. If this is your first family readathon, starting small might work best. Keep in mind the three reasons for creating your FAMILY READATHON. Yes, it is to community groups that are being asked to help more families now. However, it's also to demonstrate to children that they can make a difference - no matter their age or abilities. And, last, a readathon does encourage more reading and more family memories...and less screen time!

How do we get sponsors?

We have lots of ideas on whom to approach to ask to be a sponsor and even how to pitch your request in our FREE DIY FAMILY READATHON KIT. Any team member can ask a sponsor. Just be sure to coordinate that effort so that an individual sponsor is not asked by multiple team members. This may not be case if there are grandparents or other relatives of the same team members who are children. We have more ideas for how to ask a sponsor to support your readathon in THE KIT. Start making a list of people whom you think would be interested and able to become a sponsor, such as grandparnets, aunts, uncles, neighbors, co-workers and friends. We suggest you let the sponsor decide whether to sponsor a certain amount per book read or a set amount. Since there is no way to be certain how many books will be read by your team, sponsors really won't know the dollar amount they are committing to make. With our first readathon, some sponsors preferred to just commit to a set dollar amount which mean it didn't matter how many boosk our team read. It also was better for other sponsors to ensure being a sponsor worked for their budget.

How does our team choose a local organization to benefit from our readathon?

Our FREE DIY FAMILY READATHON KIT contains some resources and things to consider, when your team starts to identify which local community or state organization will benefit from your family's readathon. To start compilingn a list of potential groups, think about the needs of your own community and what you may know or have read recently. You also may wish to focus on an issue close to your heart or for a group with whom you already are a volunteer or supporter. Talk to your team members and ask what issues they care about and involve them in the decision-making process. Children in elementary school and older can help research the needs of local families as part of a homeschool or school project.

Who handles the money we raise and how do we get it to the communinty organization?

We've designed the FAMILY READATHON to be as uncomplicated as we could make it. So, here's what we figured out to ensure that getting the sponsors' donation to your team's community or state organization is a smooth, stress free, hands-off process: With today's technology, local and state organizations have websites which include a page or a method for people wishing to make donations.electronically using credit or debit cards and also instructions aout sending a check to the group. The Kit has information about contacting your readathon's beneficiary organization, including

  • Let the group know what you are doing, why and the basic information about your family's readathon.
  • Ask how sponsors can make their donation and if there is a specific process already in place online or by mail. Note: The food bank we're using has a donation page that allows us to create our own team; name it ;and then our team is assgned a number. So, we have given the organization's website address and our team number to sponsors.
  • Be sure to ask your beneficiary, if that process is available on their website. The food bank staff also has provided information for sponsors who prefer to mail a check to the group with the team number noted on the check or with an attached note to be sure that the donations are attributed to our family readathon.
  • Sponsors should be given the choice of how to make their donations in your familyh readathon's name. Just confirm with the beneficiary organization the street or PO box and if the envelope should be addressed to a specific staff person.

How old does a child have to be to participate?

Young children should be encouraged to participate and it's easy to modify how they can be invovled, based on the child's age, reading level and abilities. Here are just a few ways in which younger children can be an active member of your familiy's readathon team:

  • Younger children can read with a parent, grandparent, older silibing or other older family or friend.
  • Younger children who have not learned to read can use aubile books.
  • Younger children can join the discussion about what type of organization to choose to benefit from your family's readathon. Using a family discussion about what families need to live or to raise their children can help all ages understand what it takes to support a family...including loving and caring about each other and helping as part of a family with daily chores and sharing family responsibilities.
  • Younger children can help keep track of books read on the list included in FREE DIY FAMILY READATHON KIT.
  • Young children can help choose, print cut and distribute the free bookmarks in the kit; decide on a name for your familiy's readathon; and choose the style reading lists from among the choices in the kit.
  • Young children also can help ask potential sponsors to support your family's readathon...with age-appropriate help from adults or older siblings on your team.
  • Young children can go to the website, when your team has completed your family's readathon to see the name of your family readathon and the organization you chose to benefit from your readathon.

What are the rules for our Family Readathon?

It's your family's readathon, so you decide what will work for all of the team members. Keep in mind that having fewer rules makes it easier for eveyrone to be comfortable being part of the family activity, especially if someone hasn't done so. Our DIY FAMILY READATHON KIT has suggestions for things you may wish to include or adapt for your own readtathon. And, if something isn't working, talk to the team members to make adjustments as your readathon progresses. It's ok to modify the activity, if something isn't working!