The annual MS Readathon launched at The Illawarra Grammar School

PROMOTING READING: Jasmine Sim, a year 7 student at The Illawarra Grammar School and popular blogger, at the MS Readathon launch on Thursday. Picture: Sylvia Liber
PROMOTING READING: Jasmine Sim, a year 7 student at The Illawarra Grammar School and popular blogger, at the MS Readathon launch on Thursday. Picture: Sylvia Liber

Avid reader Jasmine Sim has set herself the ambitious goal of consuming up to 20 books in August – all in the name of charity. 

“I love how you can read a book and get something out of it, something educational, or you can do it in your spare time,” she said. 

The 12-year-old MS Readathon Ambassador officially launched this year’s Readathon on Thursday at The Illawarra Grammar School.

Their Junior School students will be embarking on the one-month reading challenge during the month of August. 

During the fundraiser’s 40th anniversary, students will raise money for Multiple Sclerosis by getting sponsored for reading as much as they can throughout August. 

This year will be Jasmine’s eighth MS Readathon; she has been an ambassador for the program for the past four years. 

“I love the way that you’re reading for a reason, and you get to put your passion for books towards doing something really good,” Jasmine said of the fundraiser.

Jasmine, aka ‘Jazzy’, a year 7 student at TIGS, writes a popular blog called Jazzy’s Bookshelf.

The reading blog is aimed at 10-13 year-old’s, and promotes her love of books, including book reviews and interviews with authors. 

“I became ambassador for the MS Readathon in year 4, and I started my blog then, just to blog about books and spread the word,” she said. 

“(Interviewing authors) is great because you get to know the author, and see what goes on inside their head when they write a book.”

Jasmine name-checked J.K. Rowling, Derek Landy and Suzanne Collins as some of her favourite authors. 

TIGS librarian Karen Bowmaker said the Readathon was a positive activity for schools to get involved with.

“The MS Readathon supports children’s enjoyment of reading, while also showing they can help other kids just by reading books,” she said.

“Every school has a connection to someone with Multiple Sclerosis.”

Since 1978, the MS Readathon has encouraged millions of primary and junior secondary school-aged kids to enjoy reading while also helping others.

The program raises funds for families living with MS to attend MS Camps, as well as providing an opportunity for students to discover and rediscover a love for reading. 

To celebrate its 40th year, the Readathon offers an interactive website-based challenge to primary and junior secondary school-aged children to read as much as they can during August.  

The new website gives children the opportunity to rate and review books, as well as collect reward badges online. 

Visit www.msreadathon.org.au for more details.