CrossRoads Intermediate School takes part in reading marathon challenge

CrossRoads Intermediate School is teaming up with a former NFL Super Bowl champion to encourage students to read more. The school is taking part in a 26 day Reading Marathon in conjunction with Malcolm Mitchell’s Share the Magic Foundation. 

READMarathon is a friendly 26.2-day reading challenge focusing on reading stamina. This challenge was designed to improve reading stamina by introducing students to reading persistence and debunking the stone age stereotype that reading is boring, in return giving kids the opportunity to enrich their lives with the benefits of reading in a fun environment. READMarathon 2021 started on October 12.

“Our department chair shared Malcolm Mitchell’s READMarathon and we thought it would be a great event to take part in because it was something we could do to get our students excited about reading,” said teacher Elisa Westfall. “Students will read and log minutes while reading in and out of class. We have posters, announcements, medals for the winners, and most of all a school-wide focus on reading, as a team!”

Malcolm Mitchell is a native of Valdosta, Georgia. As a high school senior, he was an Under Armour All-American and went on to finish in the top ten all-time receivers during his playing career at the University of Georgia (UGA). After graduating from UGA with a degree in Communications in 2015, Malcolm was drafted by the New England Patriots, becoming a Super Bowl Champion in February 2017. Among Malcolm’s numerous awards and accomplishments both on and off the field, he considers discovering a love of reading his greatest achievement. Initially, reading was a challenge; however, through perseverance, books became an avenue for expanding his curiosity, creativity and learning. 

CrossRoads Intermediate kicked off the READMarathon with a virtual pep rally designed to get students inspired and excited to take on the reading challenge.

“Our virtual pep rally was a way for us to have our local and school district community, as well as our state and even national community, reach out through shoutouts to CrossRoads students offering support and encouragement,” Westfall said. “Our district high schools, Clemson University, Benedict College, University of South Carolina and many more reached out to our students.”

Students enjoyed receiving the video messages of support and are ready for the challenge.

“I like reading because it is a good way to pass the time, especially books that I like to read,” said sixth-grader Jack McQuilkin. “Our teacher lets us pick books we like to read which I really like. If you don’t like reading then I feel like it is because you haven’t found the right book yet. I recommend those people spend more time exploring books.”

For student, Linda Gaskins believes the reading marathon will help everyone become better readers. “Sometimes you might not be able to read because you might look at the words and start to stutter, but the more you read the more it impacts your brain and then you will learn the words and what they mean,” Gaskins said.

CrossRoads Intermediate also plans to participate in READBowl. READBowl is Read with Malcolm’s free global reading competition where PK-8 classrooms around the globe compete to read for the most minutes. The competition begins on the day of the American College Football National Championship (January 11, 2021). READBowl will culminate with a live crowning of the World Champions of Reading on the morning of the National Football League’s (NFL) Super Bowl Sunday (February 7, 2021). To learn more about Malcolm Mitchell and the Share the Magic foundation visit: