How the MS Read-A-Thon works

A representative from the MS Society of Canada presented a 30 minute assembly at your child's school and educated the students about what multiple sclerosis is, how important recreational reading is and how the MS Read-A-Thon works.

We asked which students were interested in being involved and your child agreed to participate. We gave them a Student Pledge Kit, including a Minute Tracking Sheet and Student Pledge Sheet, to take home.

As of today, all of the books that your child reads will count towards the MS Read-A-Thon. Please help them to record their progress on their kit and initial next to the books/minutes that are read. He/she will read for the next 2-3 weeks, depending on the date of the school assembly.

Your child will ask you and other friends, family and neighbours to sponsor them for the books/minutes they read. We have let them know at the assembly that sponsors are not strangers. Sponsors are only people that they know. Sponsors can donate a flat rate or on a per minute basis.

At the end of the reading period, your child will collect pledges from their sponsors. Ensure their name and school is printed clearly on their Minute Tracking Sheet and Student Pledge Sheet. If possible, please write a cheque or obtain a money order for all of the money that they collect. If this is not possible, cash and coin are fine as well. They will then bring their completed kit to school and return it to their teacher for pick-up by BRINKS Canada Ltd.

We will do all of the counting and receipting and will send a thank you award to your child.

You and your child will have helped those who have MS and will have helped us get closer to a cure, one book at a time.

Motivating your child

1 Set aside time each night to read with them or to them.
2 Spend an afternoon on the weekend at the public library choosing books for the MS Read-A-Thon.
3 Post their MS Read-A-Thon booklist on the fridge and check in with them frequently on their progress.
4 Set a great example – show your enthusiasm for books and make reading time fun.
5 Set up some family reading time in place of an hour of television during which the whole family reads.
6 Set a reading goal with your child and continue encouraging them to reach it.
7 Find out what your child's reading interests are and help them find related books.
8 Once your child has read a book, talk to them about why they liked/disliked it. Start your own book club!
9 Encourage your child to “buddy-up” with a sibling or friend and read with or to them. This is great for younger children who may need more help with their reading.
10 Sponsor your child. Even a small pledge will boost their confidence and encourage them to work towards their reading goal.

Developing Young Readers: A Guide for Parents

Reading should be a pleasurable part of a child’s life - something that is part of each day. As a parent, if you accomplish this, you are guaranteed a child with a positive attitude towards reading! There are so many benefits to reading, some of which are crucial to a child’s healthy development. The best way to get your child hooked on reading is to read aloud to him/her when they are still too young to read themselves, so start when they are just a baby!

What are some of the benefits?

An Opportunity to Bond
Even if you are reading to an infant who doesn’t understand the words, they will enjoy the time they have to cuddle and will be stimulated and comforted by your voice. Your child will associate story time with love, affection and fun!

Language and Speech Development
Reading to a child stimulates their brain. Much of the intelligence children develop occurs in their early years. Reading aloud helps their auditory perception get a sense of how words sound. It also builds their vocabulary; when a child sees a picture and hears the word to match, they not only learn a new word but learn its pronunciation.

Increase their Attention Span
With the rise of technological gizmos and accessories aimed at today’s youth, many children have difficulty focusing. Reading to your child at a young age encourages them to tune in or focus on what is being said, creating the base for important listening skills required when they enter school. Not to mention they will have a real sense of sentence structure - a valuable skill when they start to learn about grammar!

Life-Long Benefits
Reading at a young age will encourage curiosity, an important trait that will help them expand their knowledge of the world and discover their personal interests that will lead to a happy life.