Did you know that more than six million children in the United States will experience negative academic, personal, and social outcomes every year because of poor reading skills? At Traveling Stories, we believe that investing in children’s reading skills will have more impact on their future achievements in these areas than anything else. Driven by our values of creativity, enjoyment, empowerment, service, and transparency, we are committed to transforming reluctant readers to confident ones.

Regular readers are more than twice as likely as non-readers to participate in charity work or volunteer. Engage in both of these efforts by organizing a fundraiser powered by reading! At Traveling Stories, your donation can make a real impact. As one of San Diego’s top literacy programs, just $10 per month can pay for one child’s weekly reading program. Even a one-time donation of $50 can provide our StoryTent experience for five kids throughout an entire month! Getting children involved in a reading fundraiser gives them a sense of empowerment and encourages communication and teamwork. Giving children a powerful incentive can motivate them to read more and improve their literacy skills. Here are five ways to incorporate reading into your next fundraising event!

1 — Read-a-Thon

A read-a-thon is a great way to fundraise that requires few volunteers, boosts literacy and learning, and can bring children together. Your group can make money by getting pledges from family friends, relatives, neighbors, and others for completing a certain amount of reading. Many children commit to 10 reading sessions, ranging from 10-30 minutes a day for 10 days–and they can read any book of their choosing! Online readathon organizations allow your readers to build online pledge pages that they can share with their donors through social media, email, or text. Get your readers excited to participate with additional prizes or reading “parties.” Plus, have your readers let our volunteers know what books they are reading and they can earn Book Bucks at the same time. It’s a win-win situation!

— Book Fair

Many of us recall our own excitement when we attended book fairs as children! Many national book retailers will organize a charitable book fair at your local store or online, allowing your group a vast selection of books, magazines, DVDs, and educational toys and games! These book fairs are super easy to organize, as the retailer will usually commit to any necessary set up, cashiering, and accounting. Your group will be able to earn a certain percentage of the net proceeds from in-store and online sales!

3 — Celebrity Read-Along

What’s a better way to encourage children to read than learning from a great role model! Ask a local athlete, musician, or performer to donate their time to read to a group of children. Children often idolize these local celebrities, so they will likely be inspired to read on their own after spending some time with them. Facts show that children who are “well-read-to” use more literary language, sophisticated syntactic form, relative causes, and longer phrases than children who are unread to. Host this event at a local school or library, and register your event with an online ticketing platform. By charging a small entry fee for this event, you can use the funds to donate to an awesome organization like Traveling Stories!

4 — Used Book Sale

Similar to a yard sale, encourage your local community to donate their unwanted books! Many of your neighbors are probably still holding onto books from their childhood or school years, and no longer have a need for them. Choose a sunny day to sell your pre-owned books, and donate the profits. The more people on board, the better! Getting your friends and family involved to support a good cause is a great community-building event for all. In addition, a larger group means more books available for sale!

5 — Personalized Books

For a really unique fundraiser, try a custom book printer like Storybird. These organizations allow children to create original, art-inspired books and poetry. An administrator of the fundraiser can choose when selling dates will occur online, and parents and family members can log on to view and purchase their child’s story! These products make for great gifts year-round, but also support literacy and reading in the classroom. A personalized fundraiser such as this one makes for lasting memories while contributing to a meaningful cause.

If you don’t have the ability to host your own fundraiser, become a volunteer for Traveling Stories, or attend one of our upcoming events! There are so many ways to support our organization, and we appreciate each and every one.