Sep 08, 2020

2020 Pratham Readathon Keeps Kids Connected


On August 1, 2020, the Austin chapter concluded the 2020 Readathon with a virtual celebration to honor the participants, their families and donors. Now in its eight year, the Readathon encourages kids in the US to read books while raising awareness and funds for Pratham. This year’s group consisted of 23 readers, aged 4 to 12, supported by four adult mentors.

Inspired by Pratham’s Karona, Thodi Masti, Thodi Padhai campaign, designed to keep Indian children engaged in learning during the pandemic, mentors and participants met weekly for virtual discussions and creative activities. Children wrote reports and essays, kept journals and created videos, which they shared on their reader pages.

Together, the Austin team read approximately 200 books, including popular stories, biographies, history, and poetry. They received 164 donations and won $1700 in matching challenges, raising a total of $17,000! Reader Ishaan Jha, whose family team raised over $6,000, summed up the experience with a poem from The Girl who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill, one his favorite books from this year’s Readathon:

From a grain of sand,
Births light,
Births space,
Births infinite time,
And to grain of sand
Do all things return.

“We sometimes think we can’t have a big impact when we look at how we are like a grain of sand amongst so many other living organisms,” Ishaan explained. “But if we have high hopes and work hard this truly shows the impact that all of us can make.”