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Read-A-Thon

Dear Otis Community:

Welcome to our third annual Read-a-thon! The Read-a-thon is a chance for our school community to enjoy all things reading while also raising funds to support crucial school programs, including STEAM lab, small group reading and math support, classroom libraries, teachers’ materials and art supplies.

IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER:

1. Log your reading numbers between February 4th - 17th, 2022

(See below for registering with Pledgestar)

2. Donations can begin NOW. 

3. The top class/grade (not an individual) will win a prize. 

4. Grown-ups, please log your student’s reading minutes or confirm their accuracy if your student’s entering them.

5. Our school-wide reading goal is 190,000 minutes and our fundraising goal is $42,000.

This Year's Read-A-Thon

The last few years have been tough, and we’re hoping that the Read-a-thon can help foster a sense of community and bring our students some collective joy.

This year, your student will team up with their classmates, with their collective reading minutes being matched against those of the other classes in their grade. Each top class/grade will win a prize—and for classes with 10 or fewer students, your students will win if their class logs their time read.

We also plan on providing goodies to all the students whose classes meet certain reading goals, set by the teachers. So even if your student’s class doesn’t win the grade-level competition, they could still receive some sort of swag.

This year’s Read-A-Thon will be February 4th - 17th, 2022. We'll be using Pledgestar, a web based fundraising system that makes it much easier for students to log their minutes and to request pledges from your family and friends.

The system allows donors to make secure credit card donations online—and people who use it typically raise twice as much as those who don't. You can register and begin collecting donations now.

The Pledgestar team welcomes families to reach out to them directly if a question arises that isn’t answered on their FAQs (click the “Help” button in the right-hand corner of your family’s Pledgestar page). Call 1-888-598-7510 if you need help.

You can start logging your student’s reading minutes as soon as February 4!

One big request for grown-ups this year: Last year some students entered creative minutes onto the website (such as, more minutes read than there are in a day). This led to a bit of pandemonium, as the rest of the school watched the impact on the leaderboard. It was eventually resolved, but this year, our team doesn’t want to monitor or question students’ minutes at all.

So grown-ups, please either log your student’s reading minutes into Pledgestar for them or confirm that the minutes they’re entering are correct. While we’re giving families wiggle room to enter minutes through February 25, please make sure to only log minutes your student read during the duration of Read-A-Thon, 2/4 – 2/17.

The Read-a-thon team will also provide each teacher with a handful of physical packets, for any families that prefer to log their student’s reading activities and receive donations outside of the internet.

This Year's Goals & What Counts as Reading

Our school-wide reading goal is 190,000 minutes and our fundraising goal is $42,000. We know we can meet these goals collectively! And if we do, Principal Harris has graciously agreed to participate in a surprise activity.

What counts as reading? No matter your student’s age/ability – reading of any kind, in any language, in any medium works. Being read to, listening to audiobooks, watching videos of individuals reading (we’ll be sharing videos of some fantastic authors and community members reading their favorite books for our students on this site!), reading graphic novels, karaoke, etc. — it all counts. Does time reading at school count? Absolutely. We’ll be asking each teacher to send their families a weekly e-mail tally of their students’ classroom minutes read, for families to enter into their student’s Pledgestar account.

And putting in a plug for our local resources, the Alameda Free Library and the Oakland Public Library, where your family can borrow books/audiobooks, access the internet (where you can access/manage your Pledgestar account), and snuggle down in a cozy reading chair.  

Happy reading and thank you for your participation!

Getting Started on Pledgestar

Here's how to register on Pledgestar:

Using your computer's browser:

  • Go to http://pledgestar.com/otis

  • Click “Not Registered For This Year’s Event”

  • Enter your name and email address, then click “Submit” - please note: returning families, Pledgestar didn’t retain our info from last year, so you’ll need to “Register as a New User”

  • Follow the instructions on-screen to register Reader(s) and add family and friends

Using your Android or Apple phone or tablet:

  • Go to your device’s App Store and search for "PledgeStar" to download the Family App, or go to https://pledgestar.com/otis/downloadapp.html

  • On the home screen enter your event code: “otis” to locate your event

  • Click “Not Registered For This Year’s Event”

  • Enter your name and email address, then click “Submit”

  • Follow the instructions on-screen to register Reader(s) and add family and friends

When you finish, the system emails pledge requests to your family and friends, and allows them to make secure credit card donations online. You get notified each time a pledge is made, and you can track your pledge progress online.

Happy Reading – Go Owls!

otis owl read a thon image