Readathon Kicks Off at CES

The winner of Calais Elementary School's school-wide reading challenge in February was Cecilia M. CES is now holding a Readathon to further encourage students to read. (Photo from

By Lura Jackson


The students of Calais Elementary School [CES] are buckling down and picking up books over the next few weeks to participate in a Readathon competition. The CES Readathon began on Friday, March 23rd with a kickoff event and will run until April 8th, with a special character parade on April 13th.

Readathons encourage students to read books for as many minutes as they can while their sponsors support them with financial donations that typically support future student activities. The CES event is sponsored by the PTO, which will use the incoming funds to hold events before the end of the school year.  

To help kickoff the competition on Friday, students were assembled together to enjoy a presentation of the book “Seeing Red” by Mrs. Little. The pages from the book were projected onto a screen to enable everyone present to see it and follow along.

The CES Readathon coincides with National Reading month (March) and National Poetry month (April). Both months aim to raise awareness of the importance of appreciating literature from a young age. While many point to the presence of electronic devices as a distraction from reading, Scholastic reports that more than half of all children between the ages of 6 and 17 are currently reading a book for fun, something that research indicates dramatically improves the ability to comprehend the written word.

While Readathons are based around reading as much as possible, the PTO makes sure to impress upon students that it’s all about having fun with the process. If the entire school raises more than $3,500, students in grades K-2 will have a chance to throw a pie at teacher Sean Cavanaugh and those in grades 3-6 will be able to do the same with teacher Brenda Batson. If the school meets its goal of reading for 15,000 minutes, then Principal Sue Carter will take a pie in the face. Every student that participates will receive a prize, while individual students that gain noteworthy sponsorship from their friends and family will be eligible for prizes of distinction.