Storybook 5K supports educational initiatives | Local News


HUNTSVILLE – A Time 2 Read is gearing up for its second Storybook Character 5K and Fun Run on Saturday, November 6, raising funds to promote literacy and help support Huntsville’s ISD campuses.

“This is basically our fall fundraiser for A Time 2 Read,” said Holly McMichael, executive director of A Time 2 Read. “This one helps us fundraise for program needs, training, supplies, and backpacks – just all the ins and outs of running an organization like this.”

Last year’s event attracted approximately 180 attendees and raised over $ 11,400 through marketing, sponsorships and attendance fees, to be reinvested directly into their work with ISD schools in Huntsville.

“I still feel like it was a really good result last year in the midst of the pandemic. We were thrilled that this was our first attempt at 5K and our first very big fundraiser, ”said McMichael.

“We are looking forward to another great year, we have had a lot of companies who have agreed to help us, whether with financial donations or in-kind donations,” said McMichael, noting that Ward Furniture & Flooring is from return. for a second year as a Platinum Sponsor for the nonprofit organization, and was joined by the Vance & Karen Howard Foundation.

Registration is open online, or can be completed the same day at 7:00 a.m., followed by the program at 7:30 a.m., during which prizes will be awarded to those who choose to dress up as their favorite storybook character in the categories of Best Family, Best Child and Best Adult.

The race will start and end in the parking lot of the University Heights Baptist Church, with the 5K tracing two laps on Sycamore, through Palm, Murray, Montgomery and Bowers streets, while the fun one-mile run will mostly do twice around the church parking lot.

“We tried to go around the church twice on each one so that if someone had young children or was really tired and thought, ‘I don’t want to do this again’, they are already near. their car and near the parking lot the first time around, ”McMichael said.

Virtual racing options will be available again this year and those who register for the race before October 11 will be guaranteed a running t-shirt in the size of their choice. Swag bags will also be available for all event attendees.

Due to the community’s participation in their fundraising events like the Story Book Character Run, A Time 2 Read has been able to remain an essential tool for boosting second grade reading levels using the Arise 2 Read program. . The nonprofit has also been able to give backpacks filled with learning supplies to all second-graders at HISD every year, regardless of their participation in the program. Last year’s donations amounted to 420 backpacks distributed throughout the district.

“We are basing ourselves on research statistics which indicate that students should read at least six books during the summer so as not to go back in time to what they have learned during the school year,” said McMichael said.

The backpacks include six reading books, an exercise book, a list of vocabulary words, activity sheets, information for the library’s summer reading program, and information for parents to help their students to practice their reading during the summer, as well as small fun objects.

“Last year with COVID, we weren’t in schools as much as we have been in the past, but when the spring semester started in 2021, we were able to enter two schools and train there for about two months. We had about 35 kids who participated in the program over those two months, but despite everything, with the backpack fundraiser that we do and the Huntsville community and volunteers, we were still able to raise the ‘money we needed with that and the run to make sure every student in the district has a backpack,’ said McMichael.

As A Time 2 Read returns to three of the four elementary schools after a year of limited participation due to the pandemic, the association needs volunteers to work one-on-one with struggling second-graders. struggling to read for an hour every week.

To explore volunteering options, make a donation, or sign up for the Story Book Character 5K and Fun Run, visit

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