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NEWS RELEASES 2009-10

NEWS RELEASES 2009-10 :: JUNE 1, 2010

STATE SUPERINTENDENT LAUNCHES "READ NC" LITERACY CAMPAIGN

State Superintendent June Atkinson today visited Turner Creek Elementary School in Cary to launch the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction's (NCDPI) "READ NC" literacy campaign. During her visit, she showed teachers and students the new "READ NC" Web page (www.ncpublicschools.org/accountability/lexiles). This page features a reading map, book search tool and other free resources that teachers, parents and students can access to help them use Lexile® measures to find challenging and engaging books for summer reading and throughout the year.

Lexile measures assess both a student's reading ability and the text difficulty in books, magazines and newspapers. In North Carolina, students in grades 3-8, as well as high school students taking the English I assessment, receive a Lexile measure on their end-of-grade or end-of-course test reports. The Lexile measure and a link to the "READ NC" Web page are included at the bottom of students' test results reports.

"The "READ NC" literacy campaign is about helping students find books that will interest them and assist them in improving their reading abilities even when they are not in the classroom," said Atkinson. "Teachers work so hard during the year to build students' literacy skills and we need to do all we can to make sure their progress is not lost during the summer."

The first tool featured on the "READ NC" Web page is the North Carolina version of the Lexile map for educators and parents. The Lexile map includes a list of fiction and nonfiction titles organized by Lexile level, including some titles with North Carolina connections. Teachers can use this map in their classrooms and post it on their class websites. Parents can print a copy of the map and take it, along with their child's Lexile measure, to their public library to find books that match their child's reading level.

Another valuable reading resource featured on the Web page is the "Find a Book" search. This tool allows teachers, parents and students to search online tens of thousands of book titles by Lexile measure and topic to find books that will tap into a student's personal interests and complement a specific reading comprehension level. The book search is free, easy to use and allows users to see if book titles are currently available in local public libraries.

In addition to the North Carolina Lexile map and the "Find a Book" search tool, there are Lexile FAQ information sheets and other documents that parents, teachers and librarians can use to learn more about Lexile measures and share with others. All the tools on the "READ NC" Web page are available thanks to a partnership between the NCDPI and Durham-based MetaMetrics®, an educational measurement organization that developed The Lexile Framework® for Reading.

"We applaud North Carolina's efforts to extend learning beyond the classroom by encouraging students to read over summer break and throughout the year," said MetaMetrics President Malbert Smith III, Ph.D. "If students read over summer break-when research shows most students will experience some decline in their reading abilities-we can help bridge the academic achievement gap and better prepare all students to graduate college and career ready."

For more information, contact the NCDPI Communications division at 919.807.3450.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 107 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.


For more information:
NCDPI Communications and Information, 919.807.3450.