Students at Christie Public School "Show Off" their Read-a-thon Success

Ottawa, May 1, 2003—

The city-wide Precious Minds Read-a-thon sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa wraps up this week at Christie Public School with a student talent show and recognition ceremony.

"Our students are so excited by Read-a-thon that we extended it for another full week at Christie," said Margaret Oldham, Principal at the school. "Some parents say their kids are reading more at home, which means that we"re meeting the goals of Read-a-thon, to encourage children to read more often just for the fun of it.

To celebrate their success, the students are going to put on a talent show Friday afternoon." Christie students will also be putting the final "bricks" in place in their pyramid of books. They adopted an Ancient Civilizations theme for their Read-a-thon, with Grade 5 students building a pyramid of book titles to show just how many books they have read.

Christie Public School is one of 16 schools across the Ottawa–Carleton region that took part in the Kiwanis Precious Minds Read-a-thon program (see attached list). The Kiwanis Club of Ottawa spearheaded the development of this program to give schools another way to make reading fun and exciting for their students. According to the schools, it has been a huge success.

"D. Roy Kennedy had a lot of fun with the Read-a-thon," said Andrew Canham, Principal at D. Roy Kennedy Public School. "We challenged our kids to read 3,500 books over the three weeks of Read-a-thon, and they smashed through that target and went on to read over 4,500 books! It was incredible!"

"This is our sixth annual Read-a-thon at Hopewell and it just keeps getting bigger and better every time we run the program," said Heather Graham, Vice-Principal at Hopewell Avenue Public School. "Our teachers love the Read-a-thon because the students rise to the challenge and read enthusiastically for three weeks. And when it's all over, you can see the positive impact in the school work. The Read-a-thon helps us to improve literacy skills and have fun doing it."

The Kiwanis Club of Ottawa developed and introduced the Read-a-thon based on Hopewell's success over the past five years. Early reports from the schools suggest that students have read over 25,000 books in three weeks—with many schools yet to report their successes.

To see more about the Read-a-thon in Ottawa schools, go to

Contacts: Nancy Bickford Kiwanis Read-a-thon Project Manager e-mail | tel. 613 730-2082 | fax 613 233-3718 Howard Whittaker Chair, Young Children Priority One Committee Kiwanis Club of Ottawa e-mail | tel. 613 234-8468, ext. 229