Readathon kills two birds with one stone – it encourages children to read and develop sense of solidarity

“Drop everything and read” is the invitation to children for the fourth edition of the National Readathon with the aim of encouraging children to read more while developing a sense of solidarity through the collection of funds for children with a disability.

The saying, “killing two birds with one stone”, is a good way to describe the aims of this year’s Readathon which is being organised by the Malta Trust Foundation and the National Literacy Agency.

The Chairperson of the Malta Trust Foundation, President Emeritus Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca said that the foundation works hard in the field of literacy while instilling the value of empathy in children.

“These children who are reading and participating in a national readathon, for every book they read they are also collecting money. This money is then invested in technological devices, so that we can pass them on to children who are on the autism spectrum and do not speak.”

She added that this equipment helps with the educational developments of these children by helping them to communicate better. During the launch of the fourth edition of the Readathon, Education Minister Justyne Caruana said that despite all the efforts for education to be accessible to everyone, it is never enough.

“If we do not reach these children it means that there is something missing. Therefore we need to keep working to have an educational system which is really for everyone, according to the potential of each girl and boy.”

The Chairman of the board of the Literacy Agency, Prof Charles Mifsud said that various studies have shown that children around the world have fallen behind in their education since the pandemic broke out. In Malta the educational authorities are working on a programme to recover the curriculum.

“We have to ensure that a number of opportunities which were lost have to be recouped through literacy catch up programmes to minimise the impact which the pandemic has had on the education of our children, particularly in their most sensitive years, the early years, in primary school and the beginning of secondary school.”

The Readathon is being held in the first three weeks of March with the participation of children from Year Six from 42 church, state and independent primary schools.

During this event, students are taking their favourite book with them, or a book which they are currently reading, and during a virtual session with the Reading Ambassadors they speak about the stories and their thoughts about them