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NEWS RELEASES 2010-11

NEWS RELEASES 2010-11 :: JUNE 1, 2011

STATE SUPERINTENDENT PROMOTES SUMMER READING

As many schools on a traditional calendar are wrapping up the academic year, State Superintendent June Atkinson is reminding students and parents that summer vacation should not be a break from learning. On June 7 at 7:30 p.m., Atkinson will appear on the live, statewide television call-in program Open/net to discuss the importance of summer reading. (Visit http://www.ncapt.tv/_opennet.html to find out how to view Open/net on cable or a live Windows Media stream.)

Atkinson also will discuss the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction's (NCDPI) "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.

"Research shows that one reason children do not read enough over the summer is because they have difficulty finding books at their reading level that really interest them," Atkinson said. "That is why we created the 'READ NC' Web page to help students use Lexile measures to find books that are well-matched to their reading skill level and topic interests. These tools can help prevent 'summer loss' of literacy skills so more students will be prepared to succeed when they start a new grade in the fall."

Lexile measures assess both a student's reading ability and the text complexity 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" Web page includes 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. The Web page also includes a link to the "Find a Book" search. This tool allows teachers, parents and students to search online tens of thousands of 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. 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.

"Strong reading skills are an essential part of the learning process," said MetaMetrics President Malbert Smith III, Ph.D. "I encourage all students to read daily this summer and to take advantage of our 'Find a Book' search and other freely available resources to help them select books that they will both enjoy and challenge their reading abilities."

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 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 Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.