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Grand View Readathon Fundraiser Hits $50K Mark

Apr 21, 2021 10:44AM ● By Jeanne Fratello
A "Readathon" fundraiser for Grand View Elementary School's library has surpassed the $50,000 mark, thanks to families, businesses, and one final donation that brought them over the top.

The fundraiser blew far past its initial goal of $10,000 to help underwrite Grand View's library and literacy needs, including books, technology, licensing fees, and new equipment.

For the two-week period of the Readathon, 386 Grand View students (about 75 percent of the student body) read for 136,164 minutes (nearly 2,300 hours).

Families and friends made individual donations of $25, $50, and more toward their reader’s efforts. Collectively, the student’s total raise came to just shy of $48,000. At that point, a Grand View family-owned business, Giant Smiles Dental, stepped up to make a final sponsorship donation to put the fundraising total over the top at $50,000.

"We are blown away with what the students have done," said Kate Sinclair, VP of fundraising for the Grand View Elementary PTA.

"Our students and teachers embraced the challenge with so much enthusiasm and it sparked a fierce, fun competition between the classes – all reading individually and as a class to “out read” the others," said Sinclair. "The students tracked their daily reading sessions online via their profile pages and we watched the leaderboard change daily as the commitment to their goals increased."

Local businesses supported the effort as well. Pages, a Bookstore worked with the school to create a special Readathon section in the store and on their website with great titles for readers in all grades. Additionally, they donated book prizes to the top readers and a percentage of sales back to the school.

Simms Restaurant Group, a longtime supporter of the school, has donated a percentage of sales back to Grand View throughout the year. For the Readathon, they donated several prizes that the students had been competing for in the Readathon.

And finally, Giant Smiles Dental kicked in the donation to bring the total over the $50K mark.

"Our family just relocated from NYC to Manhattan Beach in October, and we want to get involved with our community," said Dr. Gregory Ray of Giant Smiles Dental. "My wife Nicola Harrison is an author [The Show Girl, coming August 2021], and reading is a big part of our home life. It is stressed as very important to our kids Christopher, a 5th grader at Grandview, and Greyson, age 2.  This seemed like the perfect opportunity to introduce my new practice and sponsor our new community in a worthy cause."

"All of these organizations are total gems and dedicated to supporting our schools," said Sinclair. "We are so appreciative of their partnership."

Idea Began with $10,000 Goal


The idea was brought to the Grand View PTA over the summer by Heidi Snively, Grand View's library resource specialist and who Sinclair calls the "heart" of Grand View's library space. "We loved the concept and were excited to launch it for our students this spring," said Sinclair.

The raise from the Readathon will underwrite the library and literacy needs (books, technology, licensing fees, new equipment, etc.) at Grand View for 2021, which was the initial $10,000 goal.

Beyond that, the PTA is asking the students and families that participated in the Readathon to vote on what they’d like to the rest of the funds to go toward. 

Some priorities include the purchase of mature trees for the new Grand View campus, new desks/chairs/furniture for the soon-to-be completed classrooms, cold water hydration stations near the playground and fields, and more.

"We are so proud of how the students came together to accomplish their goal, and excited for them to have a voice in how they contribute to their school," said Sinclair.


Top "Readers" Named

Following the conclusion of the Readathon, Grand View also named its top readers and classes: 

Top Class – Most Minutes: Mrs. DiBiase’s 5th Grade class

Top Class – Highest Fundraising: Mrs. Cross’s 2nd Grade Class

Top Reader in the School – Most Minutes: Evelyn Amezquita, Mrs. Dibiase 5th Grade

Top Reader in the School – Highest Fundraising:
Linus & Leontine Sinclair
– tied, Mrs. Robertson 5th Grade & Mrs. Cross 2nd Grade

Top Grade Level Winners

Most Minutes Kindergarten: Oliver Tang, Mrs. Deragisch

1st Grade: Will Newton, Mrs. Olson

2nd Grade: Leontine Sinclair, Mrs. Cross

3rd Grade: Cole Lynch, Mrs. Dever

4th Grade: Madison Nolting, Mrs. Kinzer

5th Grade: Linus Sinclair, Mrs. Robertson





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