“Kids helping kids — how cool is that?”

Gilman’s Lower School Read-A-Thon is underway and this year, it kicked off with a special video to reveal what organization the boys are supporting.

By Lillian Alpert and Erica Hudson
The Lower School Read-A-Thon is an annual event at Gilman and each year, the boys look forward to finding out what organization they are supporting with their thousands of collective hours of reading.

During a special kickoff assembly this month, students learned this year’s Read-A-Thon funds will benefit the NICU at the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital. Currently, there are as many as ten newborn babies in each of four rooms in need of intensive care. Gilman’s donations will help expand this unit to 52 individual rooms with space for parents to spend more time with their babies.

Learn more in this video, produced by Gilman parents Alexandra Bessent-Enright, director of marketing at the University of Maryland Medical Center, and Suzanne Boyle, ‎senior director of development at University of Maryland Children’s Hospital.

Last year, students read a collective 4,544 hours (that’s nearly 190 days!), raising $22,133 for the Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. In the past five years, Lower School boys have collected more than $100,000 in Read-A-Thon pledges, thanks to our generous families and neighbors.

We are proud to report that in the first phase of the Read-A-Thon there are already eight homerooms with 100 percent registered readers (including all of the fifth grade classrooms) and others close to that goal. While the recipient of our Read-A-Thon funds provides small tokens of appreciation for all boys who participate; first and foremost, in return for their effort, students receive the intrinsic satisfaction of helping others.

As Dr. Bearer said in the video, “Kids helping kids — how cool is that?”

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