We are raising money to support the students and teachers at PS 281 The River School! Your pledge will help the PS 281 PTA pay for enrichment classes for all students, professional development for teachers, supplies for classrooms, and much more. You can learn more and donate to support our awesome readers here!

Our goal is for our readers to read 15,000 minutes, and for their families to contribute $15,000 to show their support.

You can track our school’s progress in real-time at the Read-A-Thon website or below:


The class that has read the most minutes by the end of our Read-a-Thon on Friday, March 15 will win a prize! Come to our Read-a-Thon Culmination Celebration and Used Book Fair that evening to find out which class are River Reading stars! Prizes will also be awarded to those who have completed all of our Literacy Challenges (see below for more details). Plus, play games and get great deals on new reading material for the whole family. Click here to RSVP and volunteer to help make the event success.

If you haven’t set up your Read-a-Thon account yet, it’s not too late!

Instructions for Readers

✓ Activate your account to track reading sessions online
Step 1: Go to www.read-a-thon.com/readers and enter your child’s secret code (located on the flyer sent home in back packs last week). If you have lost your flyer, email pta@ps281.org for your code.
Step 2: Create your reader profile.
Step 3: Track your reading sessions online.

✓ Invite friends and relatives to help you raise money
Use the online tools to send facebook, email or text invites to your friends and family to pledge their support.

✓ Complete the Weekly Literacy Challenges
Each week of our Read-a-Thon, we will be posing different literacy challenges! Students who complete all of the challenges can collect a prize at our Read-a-Thon Culmination Celebration on Friday, March 15.

Our Week 1 literacy challenge is map reading.

Learning to read a map is an invaluable skill. This week we’re challenging our readers to plan a trip using maps. If you are traveling, plot out the best route to your destination and check out all the sights there! If you are enjoying a staycation, find a new path to the grocery store.

More advanced readers can use different types of maps with information about bodies of water, elevation, climate, natural resources, etc. and combine the information to write a summary about a new location.

Our Week 2 literacy challenge is recipe reading.

There are so many lessons that our readers can learn while cooking, from math concepts (counting, measuring, fractions) to science facts (how food changes with temperature or how different foods affect our health) to literacy skills (describe how food looks, feels, and tastes). This week, we are challenging our readers to read and make a recipe with their families! This is a fun opportunity to test out that recipe that you are planning on submitting for our School Cookbook. Older students can even practice writing or typing the recipe to submit here.

Our Week 3 literacy challenge is writing a thank you note.

Did your student receive a River Gram this month? How exciting was it for your child to read about how special he or she is? This week, we are challenging our readers to pay it forward and write a note to express gratitude to someone in their lives – perhaps to a friend for helping with a project, to a teacher for showing them a new skill, or to a family member for supporting them in the Read-a-Thon! More advanced writers can write longer letters that begin with a salutation (“Dear xxx”) and ends with an appropriate closing (“Love, xxx”) as well as learn how to address and mail envelopes.

Our Week 4 literacy challenge is comparing a book to a movie.

Read a book and then watch the movie version of the book. This challenge offers many fun activities that can be used to build our readers’ literacy skills. You can list basic features such as characters, plot, location, conflict and resolution in both the book and movie versions of the same story. Compare and contrast the differences; discuss why there may be some differences. This will help our readers develop critical thinking skills. Discuss or write out why one version is better than the other – the answers may surprise you!

Happy Reading!