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VUES read-a-thon nets $9,000 for literacy

VERGENNES — In Vermont it is a fact of life that people help each other out; they pitch in and work together to make something special or better. Thus it has been our privilege to plan and coordinate the Vergennes Union Elementary School’s (VUES) second Read-a-Thon to help inspire kids to read and make money for their school along the way.
And read and fundraise the kids did. VUES students read a staggering 272,299 minutes during the month of March and netted over $9,000 in donations for the school to buy books and literacy materials and invest in enrichment programs like artists in residence.
This community-wide effort could not have succeeded without the support of many community volunteers and donors. But special thanks go out to the VUES staff who all agreed to participate in a rather unique incentive program for the students this year. They challenged the kids to read more minutes than they had read during the 2014 Read-a-Thon and said they’d all jump in the pool together to celebrate if the kids could pull it off. And now the teachers are hoping for one really warm day before year’s end because the students beat last year’s total by over 60,000 minutes. 
We also wish to extend our heartfelt gratitude to our benefactors whose generous donations were used to pay for publicity and materials for the Read-a-Thon but, more importantly, helped ensure that every single VUES child had a sponsor for his or her literacy efforts during the month: Four Seasons Sotheby’s International, June Bug Mother & Child, St. Peter’s Knights of Columbus, UTC, the Vergennes Lions, and Women of Wisdom at Sweet Charity. Our thanks also go out to sponsors: Big Barn, Gaines Insurance, Sons of the American Legion in Vergennes and Vergennes Animal Hospital. 
It is said that many hands make light work and certainly the enthusiasm of our teachers and financial support of our sponsors did make our jobs easier. But it is equally true that when many come together to share the workload, their combined efforts will enable countless more to share in the joys of an endeavor. Thank you for helping our students on this part of their lifelong journey of literacy.
Editor’s note: This article was contributed by VUES Read-a-Thon coordinators Michelle Eckels and Melissa Flint.

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