For the first year in its 5-year history, Berkshire Humane Society will open its annual PAWS Read-A-Thon to all pre-kindergarten to 8th grade students in Berkshire County. Materials to participate can be found by going here. The deadline to apply is February 10.

In the PAWS Read-A-Thon, children find sponsors to pledge an amount to donate to Berkshire Humane Society for each minute the child reads during March, National Reading Month. Prizes are awarded to top readers and schools in various categories. Each child enrolled in the read-a-thon will receive a Berkshire Humane Society goody bag.

In the past, Berkshire Humane Society worked with a handful of local schools for the Read-A-Thon, but this year, all students in Berkshire County are welcome to join. Home-schooled children, scouting and other civic groups and youth organizations, especially those engaged in service projects, are encouraged to participate.

The PAWS Read-A-Thon really shows the power of youth,” said Lizzy Filkins, Humane Educator at Berkshire Humane Society. “Children from across Berkshire County have raised almost $25,000 to help homeless animals through this program. We’re excited to expand participation this year through our Berkshire Humane Society website.”

Schools that have participated in the past include Egremont, Williams, Allendale, Lanesboro and Lee elementary schools and Richmond Consolidated School.

March is National Reading Month in celebration of the birthday of Dr. Seuss on March 2. The PAWS Read-A-Thon encourages children to read and shows them they can make a difference.

For more information, contact Lizzy Filkins at 413-447-7878 x. 129.

(press release sent to Townsquare Media Berkshire Radio Stations from the Berkshire Humane Society for online and on-air use)