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Online Educational Event Starts February 9, Encourages Team Sponsors - WorldWide IDEA’s

January 13, 2009View for printing

It’s not every sporting event that gets kids to read more. But WorldWide IDEA’s event can really bring out the book-hungry animal in students. With school budgets tightening, businesses, individual parents, school PTAs, libraries, and others are encouraged to sponsor a team and be recognized on the Idita-Read website.

Sled dog racing season serves as the perfect time of year for an interactive, educational activity inspired by these races, such as Montana’s Race to the Sky, which starts February 13, and Alaska’s Iditarod, which starts March 7. The virtual race will run February 9 through March 20. Following one Idita-Read race, a parent commented that, “This event got my 1st grader hooked on reading. I discovered how competitive he was and he wanted to advance quickly, which, of course, advanced his reading in a short time.”

WW IDEA, a Missoula-based educational, 501(c)(3) nonprofit, first launched in 2007. Race participants in 2008 included 40 teams with students representing eight states and three countries, including five Montana teams.

During the race, students read books and log reading “mileage” to traverse the Iditarod Sled Dog Race Trail. They also submit their own book reviews and ratings, while getting a chance to zoom into their current checkpoint via satellite maps. Plus, they can see how other students are progressing, which fuels their natural competitive spirit. “I enjoyed the reading and making it seem like I was in a real race with the [Iditarod] mushers,” one 5th-grade participant remarked after a race.

Subscriptions to Idita-Read are now available for the upcoming 2009 race. The fee is $30 per team, or $25 per teams if four or more teams sign-up per subscription order. Since WW IDEA is a nonprofit, the money generated through these subscriptions helps cover basic expenses for the activity and also helps fund new or improved activity features.

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