Raising students' reading ability takes only a month when competition is involved.
In the Philippines Sa Aklat Sisikat, a non governmental organization, has students participate in its month-long read-a-thon programs against their classmates. The best part of the program comes after, though, as kids continue to read and their test scores improve.
To young Americans, it might be reminiscent of "Book It!", a Pizza Hut program whose goals are to get kids (a) reading and (b) hooked on pizza.
For schools, these programs may help students reach their reading potential in the short term, even though there's evidence that Book It, at least, doesn't affect long-term reading habits. The school gets reading education support; the organization, publicity and business; and the kids, education they need to succeed. And maybe a slice of pizza.