Running for Reading

Steven Pate

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About my Fundraiser

Why am I doing something crazy like running a half marathon on my birthday? 

I didn't like telling Valeria the bad news. It was the last day of the Book Buddies program at Jungman elementary in Pilsen. Every Monday that year, we had sat after school and read a book together, working on the things she was finding difficult. So why did I have to tell her I wouldn't be back next year?

I got involved with Open Books because I thought about how much my nephew, who lives hundreds of miles away, depended on people willingly giving up their free time to help him overcome his learning difficulties. I figured that even if I couldn't read with him, then maybe somebody in my own neighborhood could use some help. When I found Open Books' Book Buddies program, it was as if they had read my mind.

Reading with Valeria taught me a lot over the course of half a school year, and watching her get better at reading--and find more joy in the activity because of it--made me excited about the next year.


When a limitation on staff and resources was cited as the reason for dicontuning the Book Buddies program, I signed up for the Team Bookin' It fundraiser in order to help sure things don't stay this way for long. With your help, Open Books can continue reaching thousands of students every month, and the Buddies program can continue boosting fluency and coprehension and make help reading something kids look forward to. Open Books is an award-winning nonprofit that operates an extraordinary bookstore, provides community programs, and mobilizes passionate volunteers to promote literacy.

I had never run a race of any length before I signed on with Open Books.  Just completing this half marathon is going to be a challenge, but every penny you can give will make it that much easier. Open Books needs all the support it can get in order to spread the joy of reading. 

Please give what you can!