Ready, set, read: 20,000 children unite for city-wide sponsored read

More than 70 schools are joining forces to run a city-wide sponsored read next week in a celebration of libraries, reading and the power of stories.

Read for Good has been running its Readathon in individual schools since 1984, motivating millions of children to get reading.

Now the charity is working with the Liverpool Learning Partnership to bring the power of its Readathon to a whole city for the first time, reinforcing Liverpool’s reputation as a city of readers.

Children are sponsored to read whatever they like – from comics to classics – with the emphasis on reading what they love. Money raised will be used for school libraries and by the charities to fund their work in Liverpool, including Read for Good’s mobile bookcase and resident storyteller at Alder Hey. The Readathon is running during this year’s inaugural Libraries Week (9-14 October).

Highlights over the week include a visit to the city by author/illustrator Sarah McIntyre. Sarah is visiting a breakfast club, schools and Central Library at the midway point of the read on Wednesday 11 October.

Trainee teachers from John Moore’s University are also sharing their love of reading in schools and on the Friday at 1.30pm, classrooms across the city will fall silent as schools participate in a DEAR Liverpool event (drop-everything-and-read).

Read for Good Chief Executive, Justine Daniels said: “We know that learning to love to read as a child has benefits that last a lifetime: from educational outcomes and social mobility to emotional wellbeing. But first, you need to get reading! Motivation is an integral element of reading well, as is reading what you love. Readathon provides the motivation and encourages choice, so we’re excited to join forces with the Liverpool Learning Partnership to unleash its power on a whole city for the first time!”

Twenty per-cent of whatever a school raises will be used to buy books for its library, 10% is going to support Liverpool Learning Partnership’s wider work on reading for pleasure and the rest funds Read for Good’s unique programme bringing a regular supply of books and storytellers into all of the UK’s main children’s hospitals, including Alder Hey.

Assistant Mayor and Cabinet member for schools, Councillor Nick Small, said: “This is a great event which is part of our continuous drive to improve literacy in Liverpool. We are determined to encourage a love of reading from a young age and have already seen an improvement in exam results since the launch of our Liverpool Reads programme several years ago.”

Alder Hey’s Arts Coordinator, Vicky Charnock said: “Read for Good’s storyteller and bright-orange mobile bookcase are well-known at Alder Hey. We love the loop of children in our schools reading to bring stories into our hospital. Imagination is a ticket out to the wider world when you’re in hospital and the power of stories to entertain, uplift and distract is incredible and something I’ve seen first-hand at Alder Hey with Read for Good.”

Project Coordinator for the Liverpool Learning Partnership, Jenny Holder said:  “We’re already known as a city of football, music and of culture –  and increasingly Liverpool is also becoming known for being a city of avid readers.  The City of Readers campaign has worked with children, parents, carers and the wider community, reaching some of Liverpool’s most disadvantaged families, to instil a lifelong love of reading. Through our new Readathon event we’re hoping to continue this work by creating a real buzz about books and reading across the city’s schools in October: from the DEAR moment  during our Readathon to ensuring more families are equipped with library cards and able to access our marvellous online library collection.”

Author and illustrator, Sarah McIntyre said: “I get asked to support a lot of charities, but the one I’ve chosen to champion is Read for Good, because what they do is so important: bringing books to children in hospital. The Readathon is a great way to encourage empathy in children who support Read for Good, helping them imagine what it would be like to be in hospital, possibly for very long stays; how stories might inspire a child who’s poorly to imagine bigger and better things outside the walls of the ward.”

For more info visit or visit  or follow #LiverpoolReadathon or @ReadforGoodUK @ReadingatLLP

  • Pictured above are Hadley (12), Ellie (12) and Freya (13) from Gateacre School
Liverpool Waterfront