Thank you for supporting your child/children in the 2012 MS Readathon.
Families have been participating in the MS Readathon for more than thirty years,
and we appreciate you being part of this great event.
For the first few years of a child’s life, one of the many skills they learn is to read - a fundamental skill that all children need to master. Once they are able to
read independently, and are on their reading ‘L plates’, your continuing support
and encouragement is so important. Whether it is reading the same books as they
are for their schooling, joining the local library together or allowing that extra
5 minutes at bedtime because they are ‘up to a good bit’ every little bit helps.
Remember that any reading is good reading and it’s meant to be fun!
It may come as a surprise in a media-infiltrated world that teenagers also enjoy
reading. Teenagers have a diverse interest in books. Among their favourite categories
are literature, history that has a story they can relate to, fiction and biographies
about people who affect their lives today.
Participating in the MS Readathon will help inspire your child's love of reading,
and will provide MS Australia with much-needed funds to support people living with
MS. Funds raised by your child/ children will help to give care, and hope for a
cure, to over 23,000 Australians, their families and carers, who are living with
HOW DOES THE MS READATHON WORK?
The MS Readathon is a reading-based fundraiser run by Multiple Sclerosis Australia (MSA). Now in its 34th year, the MS Readathon encourages children to read books and improve their literacy whilst at the same time raising their community awareness and empowering them to make a difference in the lives of people living with MS.
Children read as many books as possible during a designated period. In 2013, the reading period is the month of August. Friends and family sponsor them by donating an amount per book read or by the time they spend reading or by giving a flat donation. This money goes to support people living with MS. The children receive a certificate of appreciation and reward as a thank you for their efforts.
Taking part in the MS Readathon is easy!
Register your child/ children.
Registration is free and can be done easily and quickly online from the
of our website, then clicking the ‘SIGN UP’ button.
When you register, don’t forget to write down your User name and Password so you can log in to your child’s/ children’s homepage. You will also need to print out your sponsor and reading lists so you can write down all the people who have sponsored your child/ children and the number of books they have read.
Encourage your child/ children to read for the month of August.
Remind your child/ children to write down how many books they have read or how many minutes they read for.
Assist your child/ children to fundraise.
Asking your family and friends is a great way to start. They may even be able to help you think of other ideas to raise money for people with MS.
Everyone who completes the program will receive a certificate of appreciation and, children under the age of 18, some great rewards.
There are even rewards for your child’s/ children’s school. Eligible schools will also receive 10% of the amount raised returned to them in gift cards.
BENEFITS OF READING
The Benefits of Regular Reading
One guideline to follow is ‘read anything and everything’. It actually doesn’t matter if the child only wants to read about BMX bikes, for example. The material combined with the medium (text) provides the reward and the child soon learns that other interesting stuff is also available in written form, waiting to be read by him or her.
Encourage reading pure and simple. Make it rewarding by showing how impressed you are at what the child has acquired by reading.
The Benefits of Reading At Home
Reading at home should be a leisure activity which is fun and rewarding. If a child
is able to read well but is reluctant for any number of reasons, parents need to
link the activity with appropriate timing, suitable material and workable rewards.
The time allocated to reading should be carefully considered. It becomes harder
to encourage reading if the child is expected to read at an unsuitable time such
as when he or she is tired. The reading will be seen as a chore and the child’s
mental focus on the activity will be diminished. Parents should negotiate the best
time with the child, such as when there is a free 30 minute block, when the child
has nothing else impending and when there is additional time to chat about it once
it is finished.
Progress is enhanced if the reading matter is of direct interest to the child. The
choice should take into account the child’s level of ability, the degree of interest
in the material and the child’s ability to discuss what is read.
For many children reading is its own reward, but for many others it is not. Reading
can become rewarding if it entails the right material under the right conditions.
This will allow a habit to develop and lead to the commitment necessary for the
child to become a habitual reader. If the child is a reluctant or weak reader, parents
can help by encouragement (little rewards) and involvement which enable the parent
to note the child’s strengths and weaknesses in case additional support is required.
The Benefits of Parental Involvement
Children may not appreciate your help now but they will when, thanks to your involvement,
they become highly skilled learners. Set them on the path early. Reading is the
key to their future and the more skilled they are and the more devoted to the activity,
the more opportunities they will uncover in their future lives. For those who acquire
early reading skills it can only get better once the habit is entrenched. For reluctant
and weak readers, parents need to consider that no-one wants to do something that
they are not proficient at, and should consider what might be done to remove the
barriers preventing their child from acquiring one of the best habits of a lifetime.
MS Australia appreciates you supporting your child's fundraising efforts in the
MS Readathon. One of the most valuable things you can do is help them manage the
- Make sure you talk to your child about who they'll be asking to sponsor them, to
make sure it's appropriate. MS Australia stresses the importance of NEVER asking
strangers for money.
- Your child can be sponsored in a number of ways: some people will prefer making
a flat donation, and others will sponsor an amount for time spent reading, or the
number of items read. Either is okay.
- If your child is not working online, have the names of all sponsors and the amount they have donated
- If someone has sponsored your child more than $2 you can ask them if they would
like a receipt from your MS Readathon Receipt Book. You can request these online or by contacting the MS Readathon.
- Talk to your child about where the collected money should be kept - make sure it's
in a safe place.
- Keep encouraging your child. Every dollar they collect, every book they read, makes
FUN WAYS TO FUNDRAISE
Every year, people email us to tell us the fun ways that they fundraise for the
MS Readathon. and we have put together a list of great ideas to help your child/
children to raise much-needed funds to help people with MS!
- Ask family members to sponsor them
- Join them in making and selling bookmarks to family and friends
- Ask neighbours to sponsor them
- Put a collection tin at your local shop
- Ask people from your work to sponsor them
- Email your friends and ask them to sponsor your child/ children
- Sponsor them to do household chores
- Bake lots of cupcakes and give them to family and friends for a small donation to
- Have a book sale with all your old books or a garage sale with all proceeds going to MS
- Write stories and give to family members for a donation to MS
- Encourage them to read to younger siblings in exchange for a gold coin donation
- Draw pictures of favourite story book characters to sell to family & friends
- Get the kids to hand-write some really nice colourful letters (may be with a nice
drawing) explaining why they want to help raise money for people with MS and put
it up on the notice board at your work
We would love to hear your fundraising ideas & tips, so drop us a line at
All the money your child/ children raise from friends and family who sponsor them
in the MS Readathon goes to help people in Australia living with multiple sclerosis.
Click here to see how your support can make life
a little easier for people affected by MS.
YOUR CHILD'S PRIVACY
We know that, like any parent, you are concerned about your child's online activities.
For your reassurance, we have made sure that your child's personal information on their homepage is accessible
only through their user name and password. No one will be granted free access to
your child's details or photograph.
All third party sites have been carefully checked so that they provide relevant,
child-friendly content. Whilst we monitor these sites, however, we cannot be held
responsible for changes to content.
We suggest you take an active role in your child's ‘cyber-life’ so that you can
monitor and supervise their activities online. Some general points to bear in mind
Have a family discussion about expectations around Internet usage and set up agreements.
You might include things like times of day children are allowed on, length
of time, and which sites or types of sites are allowed or not allowed.
Talk to your child about good ‘netiquette’ and about privacy and security of their information.
Take time to explore the Internet with your child; show an active interest in the
sites they are viewing.
Keep computers in shared family areas, such as the lounge, rather than in bedrooms
Encourage children to be open about sites that they might come across, particularly
any material that they find disturbing.