Appetite for reading benefits charity

BC students raise over $2,500 in read-a-thon

Students in the Kourts' classrooms like to read.

They keep reading calendars in the classroom and track their time immersed in the pages of their favorite tomes at home. But last month, the students of Beth and Andrew Kourt satisfied more than their love of books by staging a read-a-thon for a local charity.

Beth Kourt's Clarksville Elementary fourth-graders and Andrew Kourt's fifth-grade Glenmont Elementary class collectively read for over 11,000 minutes in their free time over a week-long period last month. By collecting sponsorships of a few cents per minute from families and friends, the 46 kids raised over $2,500 for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region.

We thought we would get a couple hundred dollars, Andrew Kourt said. "A lot of them really got into it. It turned out much bigger than we ever thought it would."

Andrew Kourt heaped the credit for the read-a-thon idea on his wife. They had been trying to come up with an idea their classrooms could collaborate on.

"It just kind of came to me that they do a weekly reading calendar...so doing something for school that would help educate them while also helping someone else made sense," Beth Kourt said.

They had originally hoped to raise enough money to put together welcome care bags for families served by the Ronald McDonald House, which provides housing and other services to the families of children who are being treated in Albany Medical Center. Having far surpassed that goal, they'll make a donation of over $2,100 to the organization.

"We were really looking for somewhere local the kids could really make a connection to," Beth Kourt said. "They really wanted to help the kids. They were really genuine in wanting to help the kids and their families."

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