Reading and racing: Schuylkill Valley Community Library hosts 5k

Item photo by Nicole Matsago Race to Read

Although an unlikely pair, racing and reading have more in common than you may think. Sure, “racing” through a book because you just can’t wait to see how it ends isn’t the same type of “racing” that runners do, but both types of racing are important in life.

Good runners run often because they know that staying conditioned is critical and they often can’t stay away from the sport anyway; good readers read often, which is what makes them a good reader in the first place, and have a hard time putting down books for any extended period of time.

Running keeps your body healthy, while reading keeps your mind healthy. Running requires dedication and commitment to see results; reading is much the same. Runners need the right tools – water, good sneakers, appropriate clothing – and a strong support system; readers need the right tools and a good support system, too – good teachers, interesting books and reading role models.

The second annual Race to Read 5k, hosted by Schuylkill Valley Community Library, was the uniting of these two important activities.

Created by the Friends of the Schuylkill Valley Community Library as a way to raise money for supplies – no salaries are paid with this money - for the library such as computers, printers, and books, the Race to Read 5k was held on Sept. 13 and at the time of the event had already raised over $2,000, surpassing last year’s amount of $1,400.

“The event was started to assist the board with monetary issues because of budget cuts; a 5k was chosen because I’m a runner and I felt that the area needed a different type of fundraiser,” said Karen Bailey, chairperson of the 5k.

The Race to Read 5k consisted of a traditional 5K, where all age groups were welcome to participate and registrants received a t-shirt as part of their registration fee; prizes were awarded to the top two finishers in each category.

The second event was a “fun run” and participants could participate just by donating a used book.

Of the continued success of the event, Bailey said, “we really could not have this event if it weren’t for the businesses in the community that donate.”

Bailey is a member of the Friends of the Schuylkill Valley Community Library, a non-profit group that helps the board of the library with fundraising. This group meets the third Tuesday of the month at 7p.m. at the library and is always looking for volunteers.

The Friends of the Schuylkill Valley Community Library will be hosting a used book sale on Oct. 11 and 12 to continue their fundraising efforts. For more information about this event, contact the library.