Boy wizards and hungry caterpillars are on the curriculum for some 34,000 children in more than 100 schools across Manchester this month. The pupils in the city’s nurseries, schools and colleges join forces for the city’s first-ever mass Readathon, which will also bring the power of stories to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
The Manchester City Readathon is running for two weeks from Monday 17 June to Friday 28 June and will culminate in a citywide DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) on the last day at 2pm that is open to community groups and businesses too.
The event, one of the first of its kind in the country, is being organised by Read Manchester – the reading campaign from Manchester City Council and the National Literacy Trust – with charity Read for Good, which has been running its Readathon in individual schools since 1984.
Read for Good Chief Executive, Justine Daniels said: “Our aim is to build a buzz about reading and books. Learning to love to read as a child is one of the greatest things you can do and we know that children who take part in Readathon are more likely to read more, read more widely and use their school library. We’d also love the wider city to join in with our DEAR Manchester on the final day: Friday 28th.”
Children taking part in the event will be sponsored to read whatever they like, with the emphasis on reading what they love. Money raised will be used locally by school libraries, on literacy projects in the city and fund Read for Good’s unique programme at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
Deputy Headteacher of Manchester Hospital School, Martin Gaved said: “Read for Good’s storyteller and its two bright-orange mobile bookcases are well-known in the children’s hospital, where the service has been running since 2014. We’ll be running our own Drop Everything and Read in celebration of the Manchester Readathon!”
The Manchester Readathon will also act as a trailblazer to the annual Summer Reading Challenge, which launches in Manchester libraries from 1 July and runs throughout the school holidays across the UK.