The COVID-19 pandemic has brought an onslaught of changes for the 2020-2021 academic school year. Besides obvious obstacles such as concurrent learning and wearing masks in school, there is another complication: fundraising.
The Pine View Association (PVA) is in charge of raising money every year. The majority of this fundraising is completed through events like the Pinnacle auction and Pine View Fair, both of which are unable to happen amidst the pandemic. Thus, more importance is placed on the only fundraisers that continue to happen, one of which being the annual Read-A-Thon.
The Read-A-Thon, which was coordinated by Pine View parent Priya Acharya this year, is a two-week long event that encourages students to read whilst simultaneously generating funds through “pledges” by parents in concurrence with a student’s “reading log.” Students can then earn prizes and attend exclusive events, such as meetings with authors, with the money they raise. In years past, prizes and events such as the book fair have all been tangible; however, this year, the Read-A-Thon has been transformed into a contactless, virtual event in order to maintain social distancing.
Physical reading logs have been replaced with an online platform, 99pledges.com; the book fair translated into a partnership with a local bookstore, BookStore1 Sarasota (20 percent of online donations going back to PVA); and prizes have been changed to allow for contactless retrieval. These include Amazon gift cards and access to a webinar series featuring authors and industry leaders Craig Pittman, Reggie Williams, Allen Clary, and Shellye Archambeau.
The funds generated from the Read-A-Thon, which continues until October 18, will go toward COVID-19 resource support needs, such as additional refillable water stations throughout campus, as well as supplies for the Media Center and donations to Pine View’s sister school, Alta Vista Elementary.