The Horizons Reading Challenge at BFS
How to Get Involved
Last year’s Horizons Reading Challenge fundraiser was such a success! With your help and service, we exceeded the goal of $35,000 and were raised over $50,000 to support Horizons at Brooklyn Friends students in the summer of 2018.
This year, for our 7th annual Horizons Reading Challenge, we have set a goal to raise $35,000 ––with hopes of surpassing that number. Once again, all BFS Lower School student and families (and all interested students in other grades as well) are encouraged to join this completely voluntary service effort. This year, we will also host a Read-a-Palooza on Saturday morning, Feb. 23, 2019 for participating BFS students and Horizons students to read together with special guest authors and attain their reading goals!
The Horizons Reading Challenge will start on Jan. 30 and conclude on Feb. 28, 2019. Families should decide on an attainable goal for how many books your child will read in this time period. Reading can be done together or independently and your goal can be measured any way you choose (i.e. 3 chapters of reading, reading 10 books together, reading 12 picture books, one to five newspaper articles –– whatever works for your child’s reading level). All children participating in the Horizons Reading Challenge will receive a Reading Challenge t-shirt.
Each child who participates will have their own page on the Horizons Reading Challenge website, powered by the organization 99 Pledges (see sample page HERE – note this sample is not active) The 99 Pledges page will allow prospective donors to select from a dollar amount to donate or enter their own amount. All donations are tax deductible and an electronic tax receipt will be sent to each donor. If your donors would prefer to send a check, it can be mailed directly to BFS to the attention of Aubrie Thierren (contact firstname.lastname@example.org) with Horizons Reading Challenge and the child’s name in the memo line.
Decide on an attainable fundraising goal which will appear on your child’s page. In the past, families have raised anywhere from $100 to $10,000. You decide what is realistic for your family.
Parents will send an email to their friends and family network with the donation page link included, explaining the Horizons Reading Challenge and requesting support.
Parents will receive an email every time a donation is made. This can help you target which friends and family have yet to support so that you can send a reminder email, and it’s also a great way to keep track of your supporters to thank them.
Reminder emails can be sent during the Reading Challenge with an update on how your child is doing which often reminds people who haven’t donated to do so.
Finally, parents are welcome to support their own child, but to avoid any fundraising conflicts with BFS, we ask that parents not solicit other BFS parents for donations.
What is Horizons at BFS?
For over 25 years, Horizons National has been providing summer learning and enrichment programs to low-income public school students, kindergarten through 8th grade, on campuses of independent schools. Today, there are 52 affiliates nationwide.
In its 12th year of operation, Horizons at BFS is currently serving 135 children in grades K- 8 from Public Schools 307, 67 and 8, most of whom live in the Farragut, Ingersoll, and Whitman public housing communities. Horizons at BFS students receive a comprehensive academic and enrichment experience, which aims to prevent academic slide during the summer months and boost their love of learning. Learn more.
History of the Horizons Reading Challenge
Seven years ago, in an effort to further embrace and support Horizons at Brooklyn Friends School, BFS parents and Horizons at BFS board members Pam Kiernan and Lauryn Small launched The Horizons Reading Challenge. After their own individual success, it was decided that this could be a wonderful lower school annual fundraising initiative for Horizons at BFS. This year marks the seventh year that the BFS Lower School has been involved. Last year, participants raised $50,000 collectively!
Who and How It Benefits
Horizons at BFS operates under Brooklyn Friends School’s 501(c)(3) tax status, and while BFS generously provides all overhead and space in-kind, Horizons at BFS is financially self-supported by funding from individual donors, foundations and corporations. All funds raised will contribute towards the cost of sending a child to Horizons. The cost is approximately $3,500 per child.
Not only is the Horizons Reading Challenge a great way to support children in need, it is a wonderful way to get children excited about reading. In addition, participation provides a platform for concrete discussions among BFS students about the Horizons mission and its impact on their public school peers; it also reinforces service learning and engagement, which is central to the BFS mission.