Cumberland County Schools and Communities in Schools puts the spotlight on literacy at the 12th Annual Reading Rocks! Walk-a-thon on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 8:30 a.m. at Festival Park in Downtown Fayetteville.  

“We hope to have a large turnout like we have in previous years,” said Jody Hawley, chairperson of Reading Rocks. “We need thousands of walkers to join us to celebrate literacy in Cumberland County Schools.”  

The goal of the event is to raise money for schools to purchase books and other learning resources for the students. 

“We would like to top last year. Our schools raised more than $240,000,” said Hawley. Our total last year including our in-kind donations for the whole district was more than $257,000.”  

The walk begins at 9 a.m. and the route winds past historic downtown sites. High school bands are stationed along the route to perform as walkers pass by.  The schools designated as the most improved and the schools raising the most in donations will also receive recognition. The high school band that raised the greatest amount of money will lead the walk with Mayor Nat Robertson and other special guests.  Costume characters are also on site. 

“This year the spirit award has been revamped in order to get schools more involved while they are walking and showing their school spirit,” said Hawley.  

All donations are tax deductible. The countywide fund is distributed equitably among all schools to purchase books and learning tools that benefit Cumberland County students. Schools are allowed to continue to raise money through Dec. 4 in the name of Reading Rocks! 

“We are very excited about the walk this year,” said Hawley. “We know that this is the largest fundraiser for Cumberland County Schools and it is the largest event that gets so much of our community involved.”    

Sponsorship levels are available. T-shirts are $5 for youth and $10 for adults. Donations should be mailed to CCS Information Technology and Media Services, 2465 Gillespie Street, Fayetteville, N.C. 28306. 

Gates open at 8 a.m. Pets are not allowed. For more information, call 678-2613

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