News & Info

Stephen Papadopoulos interviewed on Weekend Sunrise – July 2016

MS Ambassador Stephen Papadopoulos starred on Weekend Sunrise and chatted to the hosts about his life with multiple sclerosis and the MS Readathon. If you need inspiration to register, watch this!

2UE interview with Martin Rossleigh Sydney Grammar School Edgecliff Preparatory School - July 2016

MS Readathon Coordinator of Sydney Grammar School Edgecliff Preparatory School was invited into the studios of 2UE in Sydney to speak about his 36 year history with the program and the school’s target to reach $500K this year. For all teachers out there, Martin articulates perfectly why schools should take part in this iconic program

Thank You from Jamie-marie

Media Release - 24 June, 2016

Reading can change your life and the lives of others. Register now for the MS Readathon and help people affected by multiple sclerosis.

Do you remember doing the MS Readathon as a child?

Celebrating its 37th year, the MS Readathon has been a tradition in schools with many people remembering taking part when they were a child or seeing their own children taking part now. It is Australia’s longest-running and most respected reading-based fundraiser. Through the simple and enjoyable act of reading and fundraising, the MS Readathon empowers children to make a difference to the lives of people living with multiple sclerosis, their families and carers.

Registrations are now open at doitforms.org.au. There are numerous benefits to taking part in the MS Readathon.

Why You Should Register

Over the past 37 years, almost six million people have taken part in the MS Readathon raising more than $40 million for people living with multiple sclerosis. The money raised has helped us continue to provide vital services and support for people living with multiple sclerosis, such asoccupational, physical and social therapy; peer support; advisory sessions through MS Connect; face-to-face education sessions; respite care in fully supported accommodation or in-home respite; workplace assistance; and ongoing renovations to residential facilities.

How Does the MS Readathon work?

  • Students can either register individually or as part of their school team.
  • It’s easy to register online and ask family and friends to sponsor you and read during Term 3!
  • There is no set book list so anything you read counts – school books, novels, comic books, poster books, magazines, websites, audio books, and books that parents read to you.
  • Everyone who completes the program will receive a Certificate of Appreciation and the Top 100 fundraisers will each receive a digital tablet.
  • Additionally, the MS Readathon works hand in hand with the Premier’s Reading Challenge, so all books read count towards both programs.

Why You Should Take Part in the MS Readathon?

Through the simple and enjoyable act of reading and fundraising, the MS Readathon encourages community awareness and giving back.

We receive positive feedback every year from parents who tell us how much their children’s reading and comprehension has improved because of their participation in the MS Readathon. Of course, this helps with their schoolwork across the board. As children’s reading improves, their confidence grows.

You can make a difference. A wonderful, empowering message for kids is that they’re important enough to have an impact on the lives of people living with multiple sclerosis. Getting involved in the MS Readathon is a great way for students to learn the benefits of teamwork. Supporting each other to achieve a common goal can help to build confidence and trust.

MS Readathon Participant Stories

10-year-old Joshua was the 2014 national highest fundraiser raising over $4,000. This is the third year he is taking part in the MS Readathon because he loves to read and also to help people. Joshua’s mum was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2014. “It’s a great feeling to know that I’m helping people just like my mum. The MS Readathon raises a lot of money every year to help people with multiple sclerosis and if more people do it, then they can raise more money. I hope one day we can find a cure for multiple sclerosis so that my mum can get better,” says Joshua. “2015 is a special year for me because my baby sister was born. But that makes it a scary year too.... Did you know three times as many girls have MS than boys? Kids as young as 10 have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. That's someone just like ME or one of my friends!” adds Joshua.

Sharon was diagnosed in the past year and fondly riibers doing the MS Readathon when she was in school. “I think it’s great to encourage children to read as my girls are amazing with reading books and it really does show with their school work – spelling, writing, creative, punctuation. They are little sponges and are so much more ahead because of reading.”

Nine-year-old Jasmin says “it feels satisfying putting my passion for books towards something useful. The MS Readathon has not only sharpened my reading skills but also increased my awareness of the condition that is multiple sclerosis. During the MS Readathon, I like to think about other children like me who are busy enjoying stories and doing something riarkable towards a common cause.”

MS Readathon Author Ambassador

Multi-award winning author Deborah Abela is the 2016 MS Readathon Author Ambassador. Deborah is the author of the hugely popular Max Remy Superspy series, Jasper Zammit Soccer Legend, The Remarkable Secret of Aurelie Bonhoffen, Grimsdon and the Ghost Club series – to name just a few!

Deb remembers being part of the MS Readathon when she was a youngster and loving it. “I loved being involved – partly because you were raising money for this really brilliant cause to help people with multiple sclerosis. But also because it involved reading — one of the favourite things that I loved so much as a kid! So I couldn’t wait to get through as many books as I could and get as much sponsorship as possible to raise money for this fantastic cause.”

Deb knew she wanted to be a writer when she was seven years old. Deb says that reading books inspired her to become a writer… as well as having really great teachers!

Her first story was about a man made out of cheese. She admits it wasn’t very good. Originally, she trained as a teacher, then travelled overseas before taking a job writing for a kids’ show on Channel 10 called Cheez TV.

After seven years of writing scripts, Deborah wrote her first novel — Max Remy Superspy Part 1: In Search of the Time and Space Machine. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Why Reading is so Important

75,000 Australian children who sat the NAPLAN tests last year failed to reach minimum reading standards and half the adult population have trouble with literacy too.

Studies show that a child develops 80 per cent of the attitudes, values, fears, and loyalties that they will carry through life, in the first six years of their life.1

Reading story books to children were found to be directly related to language growth, emergent literacy and reading achievement. Those who are read to more frequently at an early age enter school with larger vocabularies and more advanced comprehension skills.1

The study shows that parents reading to children increase the child’s reading and other cognitive skills at least up to the age of 10 or 11. This is an early-life intervention that is beneficial for their entire lives.1

Once a child commences their school life they need to master reading, grammar, concrete math, and build on foundational knowledge. The time from age six to eight is when most children will become true readers! Parents and teachers can support this in their reading journey by encouraging them to ‘read anything and everything’.1

Seventy per cent of children say they like to read books that make them laugh, so make reading fun!

According to the Scholastic Kids and Family Reading Report, the more children read, the better readers they become and the more they enjoy reading.

To register, please visit: doitforms.org.au.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a disease that attacks the central nervous system (the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves) randomly, stopping the brain communicating with the rest of the body. It is the most common neurological disease in young adults.

  • Four people are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis every working day in Australia¡V — that equates to an additional 1,000 people each year.
  • The average age of diagnosis is 30, however, children as young as 10 have been diagnosed.
  • Three-quarters of people living with multiple sclerosis are women.
  • One in 20 Australians will be directly impacted through a diagnosed family member, friend or colleague.
  • No two cases of multiple sclerosis are identical. The visible and hidden symptoms of multiple sclerosis are unpredictable and vary from person to person and from time to time in the same person.
  • Symptoms may include extreme fatigue, blurred vision, loss of balance and muscle coordination, chronic pain, slurred speech, cognitive, continence and mobility issues, dizziness, altered sensation such as tingling, numbness or pins and needles.
  • Multiple sclerosis is a lifelong disease for which there is no known cause or cure.

For more information please contact:
MS Readathon Team
P: 1300 677 323
E: msreadathon@ms.org.au

1 = 2013 research study between the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research. See more at: www.ms.org.au