By PETE WALTON
The Neptune City Family Foundation is launching a new readathon program in conjunction with Woodrow Wilson School and the Wilson Boosters club.
The program is designed to track how many books students read, then tally them on at a class level. The two classes that have the most points will each receive an ice cream party, and their students entered into a drawing to win four season passes to Six Flags Great Adventure.
“We developed a point system to incentivize the kids to visit the library more and check out books from there,” said Alex Tallman, who established the foundation and is also a borough councilman. “We installed ‘free libraries’ at Memorial Park, Adams Field, and the Community Center so that kids would have access to books wherever they went. The idea behind the free libraries is that the kids could take a book, hopefully leave a book, and get some of their reading materials that way.
All books for the free libraries were donated by the Neptune City Library.”
The program will run for 30 days, concluding on April 16.
“With the PTO book fair coming up at the end of March, we wanted to make sure that kids were as incentivized to read as much as possible,” Tallman said. “We hope that some of the prizes offered through the readathon will help get them motivated to read more.
“Secondarily to this, we want to ensure that the children of our school are aware of how amazing our local library is. We hope that through our point system values we can get kids to visit there more and hopefully understand just how much information they could access.”
Tallman established the nonprofit charitable foundation with his family in the fall of 2016. His sister Madeline, who also participates in the administration of the foundation, was elected to a two-year term on the Neptune City Board of Education.
Both attended Woodrow Wilson School and are among New Jersey’s youngest elected officials. They are both in their 20s.
More information about the foundation and details on how to donate are available at the group’s website, neptunecityfamilyfoundation.