Shepherdstown Elementary students hold readathon to raise money for First Books for Babies program

More than $1,850 raised as the result of weeklong fundraiser

July 08, 2012
  • Shepherdstown Elementary School students who raised the most money from the Roadrunner readathon fundraiser recently presented $1,850 to Jefferson Memorial Hospital for the First Book For Babies program. Pictured, from left, are Megan Nesslerodt, obstetrics clinical coordinator at Jefferson Memorial Hospital; Suzanne Offutt, principal of Shepherdstown Elementary School; students Willow Mason, Will Shively, Zebulon McKee and Wyatt Shively; and Charlotte Porter, with First Books for Babies. The newborn in the picture is Avery Peyton Benitez being held by Karen Wysong, obstetrics staff nurse.
Submitted photo

RANSON, W.Va. — Students from Shepherdstown Elementary School recently held a fundraiser to support the First Books for Babies Program at WVU Hospitals-East Jefferson Memorial Hospital.

The school hosted a weeklong Roadrunner readathon, during which students solicited donations for every minute they read outside of school between March 5 and 11.  More than $1,850 was raised by the students as a result of the read-athon.

According to Shepherdstown Elementary School Principal Suzanne Offutt, the project is aimed at increasing literacy and reading among the community’s current and future students.

“This was a wonderful opportunity for our students to make a difference in the community,” she said.  “At the same time, it provided an incentive for them to read more and to get families talking about the importance of reading.”

All of the proceeds of the readathon were donated to First Books for Babies, a program sponsored by the Jefferson County Reading Council, the Shepherdstown Public Library and Jefferson Memorial Hospital.


The program provides a book to every baby born at the hospital, along with information for new parents about local literacy programs and the importance of reading to their newborns.

“We wanted to raise money for this important program, and celebrate the joys and benefits of reading,” Offutt said.

“Our goal was for our students to read at least 20 minutes each day. That’s our goal throughout the year, not just during the readathon.”

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