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I fought this suggestion from the teens for a long while. They’ve been asking me and pleading with me to do an all-night readathon for several years. All night? Really? Really?

I finally caved in last year and agreed to do a six hour readathon. It started at 4pm and went until 10pm. Everyone adhered to the rules, which they had spelled out in great detail at the prior advisory board meeting:

  • No walking around.
  • No outside music (ie. iPods or mp3 players of any sort).
  • No cell phones.
  • One five minute break every hour, on the hour.
  • No talking. Just reading.

It went great. We had a pizza break around 6pm for 15 minutes and then they got right back to reading. It’s a fun, low-cost program that the teens really enjoyed. Last year I had six teens attend, this year it’s up to 12 (two of them are bringing friends).

What they loved the best about the program? I let them move the furniture around. They were the only ones in the library since we did it on a Friday night after we closed. They got to read for six straight hours.

We’re doing it again this week. Our now annual January readathon. They wanted an all nighter again, until I told them I turn into a pumpkin at 10pm, and so they settled for 10pm instead. Whew.

I give prizes ($10 gift cards to a book store) for most pages read and most money raised. They have pledge sheets for people to pledge either a dollar amount per page, or a flat rate donation. All funds raised go towards their trip to NYC in the spring.


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