MS Ireland’s ‘Readathon’ 2020 to go ahead virtually

Ireland’s biggest sponsored reading initiative when young readers raise funds for vital services

SCHOOLS

Reporter:

SCHOOLS

Email:

sam.matthews@kilkennypeople.ie

KILKENNY

Katie Kirwan (11), whose mum Olivia who is living with MS. This year MS Ireland will be launching a brand new interactive website as the Readathon will be going virtual for the first time

After 33 years, MS Ireland’s Readathon is at risk due to Covid-19 and the effects it is having on fundraising activities in 2020, but the charity is hoping to overcome this with their new interactive website.

MS Ireland will be launching the brand new interactive website as the Readathon will be going virtual for the first time in its 33 year history. The site is now live at www.msreadathon.ie.

This year’s Readathon will begin on November 1, and last the full month of November.

Thousands of readers young and old will take part in raising awareness and vital funds to support the 9,000 people living with MS, the most common debilitating neurological condition affecting young adults in Ireland.

The MS Readathon is Ireland’s biggest sponsored reading initiative when young readers raise funds for vital services to help people living with Multiple Sclerosis in local communities. The campaign is MS Ireland’s oldest and most anticipated event each year, originally launched by Roald Dahl in 1988 and has grown ever since.

This year the campaign takes on new importance for MS Ireland, due to the economic impact of Covid-19 fundraised income is expected to be down 38% on previous years. Traditionally, the campaign has been popular amongst the schoolchildren of Ireland, but this year MS Ireland is encouraging ‘grown up’ readers to take part and get their offices, clubs and families to rediscover their love of reading.

While the MS Readathon is set to be different from previous years, the concept hasn’t changed. Students read whatever they like, as much as they can for 4 weeks from November 1 - 30.

On the new website, readers can earn virtual Reward Badges and Stars for the goals they achieve, they can build their avatars, share their campaign on social media and rate and review the books they read. The website is designed to enrich a school’s reading culture without taking away from teachers’ precious time.

Support
Now, more than ever the MS community need support and advice. Funds raised by readers around the country directly support vital services, for example, the MS Ireland Information Line, enabling one-to-one support for those newly diagnosed, physiotherapy and exercise classes to help people with MS remain independent, and respite care. Learn more at www.msreadathon.ie.