Jun 15, 2017

The Village Elementary School Reads to Promote Literacy in India


Thanks to some enterprising fourth graders at The Village Elementary School, this year’s Pratham USA Readathon took on a life of its own at the school.

With help from their teacher, Jessica Parker, the class, which has signed up for the challenge since fall 2016, formed a Pratham Readathon Committee and designed a school-wide contest so that every grade could participate. A Readathon bulletin board was erected in the main hallway, daily announcements were made over the loudspeaker and updates were sent to parents via the school newsletter and electronic messaging. Designated reading times were set up and books read were logged by the school librarian.

Their efforts paid off. The School raised $3,000 to support 120 disadvantaged kids in India and thousands of books were read in the process. The Village High School’s Creative Writing Club also chipped in, organizing a bake sale to support the contest.

The premise of the Readathon is simple: kids commit to reading books and find sponsors to support their efforts. “It helps children further develop their reading skills and gives parents an opportunity to engage and interact with their kids about the books they read. So it’s a win-win program,” said Manjit Soni, Readathon coordinator for the Houston area. In the process, kids get in the habit of reading and learn a valuable lesson about charity.

The students were recognized by Pratham at a ceremony in May. Pratham Houston board member Prat Gupta presented awards. Each of the 104 first graders received certificates for winning the competition (combined they read close to 1500 books!) and the fourth grade Pratham Student Committee received medals for organizing the initiative.

Since 2015, The Village School community has raised over $13,000 for Pratham. We thank them for their support and hope it inspires you to follow their example.

Learn more about the Pratham USA Readathon.