Reading is a priceless skill, but it’s also been worth $275,000 to Wilton Schools, thanks to the Wilton Education Foundation‘s (WEF) fun read-a-thon program, Reading Rocks!, which has raised that amount and more over the last seven years. The eighth year of the program kicks off this Friday, Jan. 4 at Cider Mill and Miller-Driscoll schools, and organizers may see that grow to more than $300,000 this year.

All students in grades PreK-5 are invited to participate in Reading Rocks!, WEF’s fun, non-competitive program with a goal to encourage children to have fun reading while raising money for the foundation. That means all proceeds benefit Wilton’s public schools.

“Kids are able to choose their own goals for this read-a-thon, it’s completely up to parents and their child,” explains Jennifer Carvajal, co-chair of Reading Rocks! She lists several possible ideas, including independent reading, reading with an adult or sibling, flipping through a picture book, or reading via Skype with a far-away relative. “Truly, anything goes,” she says.

Over the years, the effort has helped WEF fund several programs in the schools, including:

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  • Miller-Driscoll TV/Recording Studio
  • Middlebrook School Greenhouse
  • Community Read Aloud Day
  • SMARTBoard purchases
  • Professional development for Wilton Public School teachers (typically $10,000-$20,000 per year)

“We appreciate everyone who has helped support WEF’s initiatives in the past. Without M-D and CM families, we can’t reach our goal of 100% student participation in this year’s Reading Rocks!,” says co-chair Kiki Cross.

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2019 Program Details and Dates

Registration and pledge forms were sent home with students before December break. Upcoming program dates include:

  • Friday, Jan. 4:  Kick-off
  • Friday, Jan. 18:  “Dress Like A Rock Star Day”  Pledges and money are due today. The Middlebrook Orchestra will be at Cider Mill to play some ROCKestra, and Cider Mill orchestra students may join in.
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  • Saturday, Jan. 19-Saturday, Feb. 2:  Reading period