A group of eight children pose with a "Thank You" sign in the sunroom at the Albany Ronald McDonald House.

READ for RMHC-CR Wraps Up Another Amazing Year

Young readers across the region raised more than $312,000 during the 2022-2023 school year, all to support children and families served by Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region.

Since its inception in 2014, the READ for RMHC-CR program, benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region (RMHC-CR), has raised more than $1.5 million to support the needs of families with sick children. In its ninth year (2022-2023), the program engaged nearly 3,000 young readers from more than 100 schools across the region, and raised an astonishing $312,043!

READ for RMHC-CR is a unique, reading-based community service program that empowers readers of all ages to support the mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities. The vast majority of program participants are elementary and middle school students, whose numbers have grown tremendously in recent years. During the 2022-2023 school year, a total of 2,986 students participated in READ for RMHC-CR – a record for the program!

In addition to raising critical funds for programs like the Albany Ronald McDonald House, the Ronald McDonald Family Room and Comfort Cart at the Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital at Albany Med, and the Ronald McDonald Family Retreat at Krantz Cottage in Lake George, READ for RMHC-CR fosters two important habits – reading and community service – that can benefit participants throughout their lives. “[It’s] a great way for our students to get motivated to read,” explains David Zadoorian, principal of Fonda-Fultonville Middle School. “This [program] brings our community together in a special way that promotes the spirit of giving and kindness to those whose families are in great need.”

“Once again, school communities across our region have gone above and beyond to make the READ for RMHC-CR program a huge success. We are extremely grateful to our partners and to all of our participating readers and their families for the outpouring of support. It makes a tremendous difference in the lives of the children and families we serve.”

-Nancy Damato, READ for RMHC-CR Program Director

The READ for RMHC-CR program is supported by numerous local business partners, including Albany Broadcasting, Apex Entertainment, Complete Network, La-Z-Boy Home Furnishings & Décor, Mel eMedia, National Grid, Saratoga Springs Publishing, Schoolhouse Pediatrics, Tri-City ValleyCats, UAlbany Athletics and Velocity Print. Local authors also participate in the program to bring added resources and benefits to participating schools. Special thanks to Katherine Agard, Ben Barrowman, Shaundra Bartlett, Amber L. Bradbury, Michael Burns, Janine De Tillio Cammarata, Diane Capogna, Julie Chapman, Vicki Addesso Dodd, Jason Edwards, Maryellen Wander Eyer, Elizabeth Macy, Anthony Richichi, Sara V. Robinson, Rebecca & Niamh Schmid, E.L. Shen, and Rachel Vogel for their support.

RMHC of the Capital Region is already registering schools to READ for RMHC-CR during the 2023-2024 school year. As the program marks its tenth year in existence, the team at RMHC-CR is planning some exciting additions to continue to increase participation and engagement across the region. For more information, please visit www.rmhcofalbany.org/read or contact Nancy Damato at (518) 438-2655.