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"I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to raise himself through conscious endeavor."
~ Henry David Thoreau~


Welcome to Exercise the Right to Read
where readers run and runners read!

Family PhotoWelcome! We are Wendelin Van Draanen and Mark Parsons, the husband/ wife team coordinating the Exercise the Right to Read campaign.
Wendelin is a popular children’s book author and a former classroom teacher. Mark is also a writer (non-fiction) as well as an instructor.
We are the parents of two school-aged children.

    Exercise the Right to Read is nationwide initiative designed to...

    • meet schools' literacy goals
    • meet schools' fitness goals
    • meet schools' community service goals
    • raise funds for books for school libraries and disadvantaged children

    The program is free and easy to implement, with prizes awarded each May.

    In a nutshell, schools do on-site “marathon” fundraising, keeping 90% of the proceeds for the purchase of books for their library and donating 10% to First Book, a charity that provides books for disadvantaged children. (Click here to find out more about First Book.)

    Information and materials are available at The School Program link of this site.

    Our goal is to help school libraries offset growing budget cuts, help improve childhood fitness, and put a spotlight on the good work that First Book does.

    Won’t you get involved? Click on any of the buttons in the orange column to the right to find out more. Together, let’s Exercise the Right to Read!

    For more information about Wendelin’s books, visit

      Random House
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