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MREF announces dates of 2023 Backpack Challenge Readathon 

July 6, 2023 - SAINT PAUL, Minnesota – The Marketing Research Education Foundation will host its 2023 Backpack Challenge Readathon July 17 through August 31. The MREF Backpack Challenge Readathon is an industry fundraiser that aims to help underprivileged children in the U.S. – just by reading books. This year, the goal is to send 1,000+ backpacks full of essential school supplies to students in need.

How to get involved

Anyone can participate – even individuals outside of the marketing research industry. The Backpack Challenge Readathon can involve your kids, friends, and family. There is no charge to participate, however you are welcome to donate when you register.

To participate in the readathon, join a book club to track your reading minutes. This is the perfect opportunity to open a good book for a good cause! If your company is not sponsoring a club, please feel free to join the MREF club.

We can’t wait for you to join us!

  • Participants will log their minutes as individuals or as part of a company team and will be able to see their progress compared to others on the leaderboard.

  • The top two individuals with the most minutes read will each receive a prize.

  • There is a portal to share photos and encourage each other.

Registration and additional details can be found at

The Kids In Need Foundation

The MREF is partnering with the Kids In Need Foundation (KINF) to send 1,000+ backpacks of school essentials to under-served students in the U.S. KINF is committed to creating equitable learning environments for teachers and students in under-resourced communities.

KINF has supported over 7.7 million students and 333,169 teachers in 17,472 under-resourced schools. It has distributed more than $143 million in free school supplies and classroom resources nationwide.

Become a sponsor

All Backpack Challenge Readathon sponsors get a book club (or clubs). You can invite your employees, clients, friends, and family to join your club in logging their minutes reading – either a book of their choice or one chosen for the club. Participation for employees is free, though they can donate to the effort if they’d like.

It’s not too late to help the MREF make a difference. Together, we hope to raise $25,000 to send 1,000+ backpacks of essential school supplies to kids in need!

Have a question about the Backpack Challenge or the MREF’s mission? Please reach out to MREF Administrator Alana Gates at


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