GIVE FIVE - READ FIVE
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Have you ever heard of the term summer loss? This is not a seasonal diet or exercise program, but a troubling trend in which students lose valuable literacy skills when they stop reading during their break from school. Low-income children are especially susceptible to this problem because they often go home to an environment where there are very few books or other reading resources. As a result, by the end of fifth grade, these students are approximately
2 ½ years behind their more affluent peers in terms of reading ability, primarily because of summer loss.
For this reason, 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 five books as research from Harvard has shown that even reading four or five books over the summer helps to prevent the summer slump.
The 2014 campaign was a huge success as 150 schools from 53 school districts raised a grand total of 277,334 books to send home with students for the summer-more than double the amount of total books collected last year by 74 participating schools.
For totals by school see the chart here:
Book donation totals by school
As a part of this campaign, school principals, media coordinators and district public information officers spread the word about the campaign and coordinated book collection and distribution at the local level. Large and small businesses and other organizations contributed new books and financial support to the effort. Members of the Fort Bragg Area Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., for example, provided Manchester Elementary in Cumberland County with more than 600 new and gently used books.
Middle and high schools, after-school programs as well as churches coordinated their own book drives for their local elementary schools. Five high school students from Holland’s United Methodist Church in Garner facilitated the collection of 27,000 books which were distributed to eight Garner elementary schools..
Book stores also supported the effort as staff helped participants select books and offered discounts on books purchased for the campaign. For instance, the Dollar Book Exchange in Raleigh donated 3,000 books to Cooper Elementary in Johnston County. Many schools held reading pep rallies and other special events that allowed excited students to "shop" for new books at the end of the school year.
We were pleased with all of the creative and enthusiastic responses to our campaign in 2014 and we hope that the 2015 campaign will bring in enough books to double the 2014 total. Thank you for your donations and support of the North Carolina “Give Five – Read Five” campaign. Because of your generosity, more students will enter school this fall ready to learn and succeed
State Superintendent of Public Instruction