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The Horizons Reading Challenge at BFS

How to Get Involved

Participation in the Horizons Reading Challenge is completely voluntary. The deadline to sign up is Wednesday, January 29, 2020.

Please sign up here.

Last year’s Horizons Reading Challenge fundraiser was such a success! With your help and service we exceeded our goal of $35,000 and were able to raise close to $50,000 to support Horizons students in the summer of 2019!

This year, for our 8th annual Horizons Reading Challenge, we are launching year 2020 with a goal to raise $40,000 with hopes of smashing it and are again inviting all Lower School students (and ALL interested BFS students) and families to join us in this completely voluntary service effort.

Stories Bookshop  will also return as our sponsors for The Horizons Reading Challenge and 10% of all books purchased for the Horizons Reading Challenge will be donated to Horizons at Brooklyn Friends, simply mention you are purchasing for Horizons at check-out. You can check out Stories Bookshop here.

This year, we will again host a Read-a-Palooza on Saturday morning February 22nd 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 January 29th and end on February 29th, 2020. 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 like (i.e. 3 chapters of reading, reading 10 books together, 12 picture books, 1 newspaper article, whatever works for your child’s reading level). Based on feedback from participating families last year, we will be giving out prizes for our Top Readers in each grade to incentivize reading. Our Top Four Readers from each grade will receive a gift certificate from Stories Bookshop. 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), which will allow prospective donors to select from an amount 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 Therrie 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 economically disadvantaged public school students, kindergarten through 8th grade, on campuses of independent schools. Today, there are 52 affiliates nationwide. In its 13th year of operation, Horizons at BFS is currently serving 135 children in grades K- 8 from Public Schools 307, 67 and 8. Horizons at BFS students are given 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

Eight 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 sixth 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 also a wonderful way to get children excited about reading. In addition, participation will provide a platform for concrete discussions with children about the Horizons program at BFS and the children it serves, as well as reinforce the aspect of service so central to the BFS mission.

Hear what our student participants have to say about the Reading Challenge.