Give 5 Read 5 (2014)


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Give 5 Read 5

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Give 5 Read 5 (2014)

  1. 1. February 28, 2014 TO Teachers FROM June St. Clair Atkinson GIVE FIVE – READ FIVE CAMPAIGN There is no question that literacy skills serve as the foundation for student learning at every grade level and every course. As educators, you know that students with strong reading skills are more likely to remain in school and graduate prepared for higher education and the workplace. We also know that children who do not read over the summer fall 2 ½ to 3 months behind their peers in literacy skills. Children who do not have access to books or adults who can read to them are especially susceptible to summer loss. As a result, by the end of fifth grade, many of these students are approximately 2 ½ years behind their more affluent peers in terms of reading ability. Give Five – Read Five Campaign School/Community Initiatives   In 2013, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction launched the "Give Five – Read Five" campaign. As a part of this effort, we asked parents, business leaders and members of our communities to donate five new or gently-used books to their local elementary school. We focused on providing students with five books as research from Harvard has shown that even reading four or five books over the summer can help prevent the summer slump. I am proud to share that, from late April to midJune, 74 elementary schools collected 123,152 books to send home with students when the school year ended. To see if your school participated, you can access the chart of book collection totals by school online at     As a part of this campaign, school principals, media coordinators, teachers and district public information officers spread the word about the campaign and coordinated book collection and distribution. Large and small businesses OFFICE OF THE STATE SUPERINTENDENT June St. Clair Atkinson, Ed.D., State Superintendent | 6301 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-6301 | (919) 807-3430 | Fax (919) 807-3445 AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EMPLOYER
  2. 2. Give Five – Read Five Campaign February 28, 2014 Page 2   School/Community Initiatives, Cont’d.     Resources Available   JSA:SC:mw   contributed new books and offered financial support. Middle and high schools as well as after-school programs coordinated their own book drives. Book stores also supported the effort as staff helped participants select books and offered discounts on books purchased for the campaign. Many schools held reading pep rallies and other special events that enabled teachers and students to "shop" for new books at the end of the school year. Perquimans County Schools even purchased 160 Nooks to send home with students at the end of the year. You can read more about that in my blog post “Technology Boosts Summer Reading, Improves Literacy Skills” at We were pleased with all of the creative and enthusiastic responses to our campaign in 2013 and this year, we hope to collect even more books for students across the state. Already, a group of dedicated middle and high school students at Holland’s United Methodist Church in Garner has adopted eight local elementary schools and has set the goal of collecting a total of 20,000 books. They have worked with schools and businesses to place book collection boxes throughout their community. They also have secured a warehouse and plan to organize the collected books by grade level so that they can invite teachers to select books from the collection at the end of the year. This group of students will present their “Give Five – Read Five” plan to the State Board of Education and help us officially launch the statewide campaign on March 6.     I believe that this year, with your help, we can reach our goal of providing students with at least five books to take home to read over the summer. We also will continue to offer prizes to the schools that bring in the most books. To help your school participate, please use the resources available online at to encourage others to GIVE FIVE books today to help students READ FIVE this summer so they can be more successful in the new school year.