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Ashia raises more than $400 as part of MS Readathon

By Madeleine Byron

Six-year-old Ashia Fimmel has set the bar high for other Shepparton students, raising more than $400 and reading almost 20 books in two weeks for MS Readathon.

More than 21,000 primary and junior high school students across Australia have signed up to raise funds to send people living with multiple sclerosis on family camps.

Although Shepparton East Primary School student Ashia found it difficult to pick a favourite book, she agreed Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss was a pretty good option.

“I haven’t had enough of reading, I read every day. I’ve even started reading chapter books,” she said.

MS Readathon ambassador Megan Daley said reading for a cause was an excellent way to get children and parents focused on the social and emotional benefits of reading. She said international research had shown a link between reading fiction and an enhanced ability to understand other people’s way of thinking.

“Through the characters in books they get to understand how other kids think and feel and what they are going through, and that inside all the turmoil of growing up, they aren’t that different after all,” Ms Daley said.

“That’s why the MS Readathon is such a good fit for parents who want to encourage theirchildren to read and also to understand how other children think and feel.”

Ashia’s mother Sophie Fimmel said it had been a family effort to support their daughter's fundraising, including her father’s promise to double any donation.

“My mum contacted family and friends to tell them I’m doing the MS Readathon and then everyone started giving me money,” Ashia said.

When asked if she knew what multiple sclerosis was, Ashia said she wanted to send sick people on holidays to a special paradise.

“I’ve gone on two school camps and lots of family holidays and this money will help send them,” she said.

Ashia said she asked her teacher if she could read through lunch time and fruit break until the end of the month.