Host a Read-A-Thon

Thank you for your interest in Behind the Book’s Read-A-Thon, a fun way to reinforce your students’ reading skills while teaching them to make a valuable impact on the lives of others. All the money raised by your BtB Read-A-Thon will help give students in NYC public schools access to great books, inspiring authors, and engaging literacy programs.

The BtB Read-A-Thon is a flexible project, designed to work with your school’s or reading group’s fundraising schedule and reading goals.

Using the steps below as a guide we can help you make your Read-A-Thon a meaningful fundraising activity, and above all, a great experience.

How it Works

1)  Contact Behind the Book to register your group or school – email Kara Matthews at

2)  Nominate a Read-A-Thon coordinator at your school. We will work with your coordinator to personalize the sponsorship form and reading log for your group’s age level and reading goals. We’re happy to tailor the Read-A-Thon to what best suits you: we can provide reading list recommendations, or a visit from one of our staff to talk about our programs and their impact, or we can help organize a reward for the highest-achieving class. We want to make sure this is a fun and meaningful exercise for your young readers. All students who complete a BtB Read-A-Thon will receive a certificate of achievement.

3)  Introduce the Read-A-Thon to your students. This is a great chance to let everyone know how their participation will help share the gift of literacy with other New York City children. As mentioned above, we would be happy to attend the assembly to share inspiring stories and help you launch your Read-A-Thon with a spirited kickoff!

4)  Distribute the BtB Read-A-Thon kit, which can be customized for your group. A standard kit is downloadable here:

5)  Instruct children to ask friends and family to sponsor their reading using the Sponsorship Pledge Form.

6)  Get Reading! During your BtB Read-A-Thon, remind students to keep their Reading Logs up to date (for our younger readers, read-aloud counts!).

7)  At the end of your BtB Read-A-Thon, collect students’ pledges, sponsorship forms and reading logs.

8)  We will determine with your coordinator how your group would like to donate its pledges to Behind the Book.

How to Donate

Donate online:
Parents can donate the pledge money directly to Behind the Book, at Remind parents to note their school’s name, student’s name and class in the comments field.

Collect pledges at school: Students can return their cash pledges to teachers along with the pledge form and reading log. We will arrange collection with your Read-A-Thon coordinator.

Celebration Assembly: Present your group’s donation to us in person. We can present your certificates to students, and share highlights, and, if you chose to recognize the grade/ group that read the most or raised the most, announce the winning team.

Thank you for sharing Behind the Book’s belief that every child deserves the freedom that comes from the ability to read and think independently. You are helping us create experiences that impact our students’ daily lives and futures. We appreciate your support!

Again, with any questions, please feel free to contact Kara Matthews at: