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Readathon DEI Commitment

Promoting Equity in the SMFC Education Foundation 2024 Readathon

As we prepare for the 2024 Readathon we recognize that while the Readathon aims to promote equity, the process itself may inadvertently perpetuate certain inequities. These disparities may arise due to factors such as varying access to resources, support systems, and levels of literacy development among student participants. The Ed Foundation has made it a priority to address these potential challenges and propose strategies to mitigate any resulting inequities.

To ensure a more equitable experience for all students, we will be leaning in on the following strategies for the 2024 Readathon:

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Providing Resource Support

Recognizing that students may have varying access to books, we have continued to partner with the San Mateo and Foster City public libraries for the Readathon Kickoff events with book giveaways and will publish the list of Little Free Library locations. We will also have the support of the Language and Literacy Teachers on Special Assignments this year to maximize participation.


Celebrating Diverse Reading Experiences

We embrace and highlight the diverse reading experiences of our students, and we encourage them to explore literature from a wide range of authors, cultures, and perspectives. This work has started with the heritage and inclusion theme calendar from the SMFCSD and has had positive reverberations throughout the schools. A special thanks to our librarian staff for continuing the diversity audit of our libraries to ensure window, mirror, and sliding glass door texts for all children. By celebrating diversity in reading choices, we can foster inclusivity and encourage participants to broaden their horizons. 

Adjusting Time Expectations

We acknowledge that students may have different reading abilities, available time, or support structures. We will continue to offer flexible time expectations to accommodate participants' varying circumstances. Students can count minutes read in and out of school. This will ensure that all students can actively engage in the Readathon at a pace that suits their individual needs. Reading minutes will also be capped at 500 minutes (8+ hours) per student daily. 


Providing Alternative Participation Options

We recognize that traditional reading may not be accessible to everyone due to factors such as learning differences and/or language barriers. We will continue to encourage alternative participation options, such as audiobooks, being read to and reading aloud with a partner. Additionally, we will highlight reading on Footsteps2Brilliance (a District wide strategy cited in the Strategic Plan) to ensure inclusivity for all participants.


Rethinking How We do Rewards

We are revamping our Readathon reward prizes to recognize classrooms and school sites rather than individual students in their reading efforts. The two grand prizes are author visits/assemblies - one will be rewarded to the school with the highest average reading minutes, and the second to the school with the highest student participation in fundraising (not the highest $ amount raised). Additionally, we will reward the classroom at each school site with the highest average reading minutes. These celebratory rewards will happen a few weeks after the Readathon is complete. 

Together, we can continue to work towards creating a Readathon that not only promotes literacy but also actively fosters equity, inclusivity, and a love of lifelong reading among all students.

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