By: Diana DiZoglio, March, 2012
Methuen native Jaime Bellavance Coelho is running the Boston Marathon for children’s literacy. ReadBoston is a children’s literacy non-profit that raises money for after school reading programs to support inner city schools. The money she is raising will go toward the Storymobile program, which will distribute free books to kids in 78 locations each week over seven weeks this summer.
“This is a critical time for young readers, who often lose what they have learned throughout the school year during summer break. This program will keep them interested in learning and reading throughout the summer”, said Jaime.
“Last year, I watched as thousands of Boston Marathon runners from all walks of life crossed the finish line. I saw people of all shapes and sizes finish, and it made me realize you don’t have to be an elite runner to complete the marathon. You just have to be determined and work hard to prepare your body to run 26.2 miles. I knew I could run it to raise money for a charity, and that made the goal even more rewarding”, she added.
Jaime decided to run for ReadBoston because she is an avid reader, and her entire career is based on reading. When she was a high school student at Methuen High, she worked as a student reporter for The Eagle Tribune. She graduated from journalism school at Syracuse University in 2004, and then worked for Men’s Health magazine, Boston magazine and AAA publications. She is currently an associate editor at Rhode Island Monthly magazine.
Last month, she also had the opportunity to read to a fourth grade classroom at the Murphy School in Dorchester. “The kids were great! They were interested in the book that I read, and they asked tons of questions about my writing career”, said Jamie. “They were excited to learn about marathon training, too. One student said I could run the marathon in two hours! According to him, I might be on my way to a world record! I think I proved to the students that reading leads to great things like having a fun career that they will love”, she continued.
Proud parents Robert and Nancy Bellavance of Methuen told The Valley Patriot, “Jamie has always been ambitious, accepting all challenges and setting high goals for herself. This is her latest goal to fulfill her bucket list. She has chosen ReadBoston for her love of children and to make life better for those who can’t afford books to read. We couldn’t be prouder!”
Jaime has just over a month left to raise $1,500. She has already raised $2,500, but needs to reach a required $4,000 goal. To donate by check, simply make it out to ReadBoston, and put my name in the memo field, and mail it to ReadBoston.
Katie Sullivan, ReadBoston
43 Hawkins Street, Boston, MA 02114
Also, check out Jamie’s progress on the web via her fundraising website, where you can easily donate online. http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/jamiecoelho/bostonmarathon2012