NEWS RELEASES 2013-14 :: MARCH 6, 2014


Parents, Business Leaders and Communities Encouraged to Donate Books

In 2013, 74 elementary schools collected more than 123,000 books to send home with students at the end of the school year thanks to the Give Five – Read Five campaign. This year, State Superintendent June Atkinson is starting the campaign earlier to enable even more schools, districts, businesses and community organizations to collect books and promote summer reading. Atkinson launched the campaign at this morning's State Board of Education meeting in Raleigh. She was joined by a group of high school students who have been working over the past few months to plan and implement their own Give Five – Read Five book drive to benefit eight elementary schools in Garner.

"Children who do not read over the summer fall 2½ to 3 months behind their peers in literacy skills and those who do not have access to books or adults who can read to them are especially susceptible to summer loss," Atkinson said. "Last year, schools, districts, businesses, churches and others showed a great commitment to supporting summer reading. I am certain that this year's campaign will help even more students maintain and strengthen reading skills while they are away from the classroom."

Atkinson introduced the Give Five – Read Five campaign last year to encourage parents, business leaders and community members to donate five new or gently-used books to their local elementary schools. The campaign 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. From late April to mid-June, 74 elementary schools collected 123,152 books to send home with students when the school year ended. A list of last year's book collection totals by school is online at
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During the campaign last year, school principals, media coordinators, teachers and district public information officers coordinated book collection and distribution. Businesses contributed new books and offered financial support. Book stores offered special discounts on books purchased for the campaign. Middle and high schools as well as after-school programs "adopted" elementary schools and coordinated book drives. 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. In June, schools that collected the most books received one-year subscriptions to literacy software and online reading programs.

At the State Board of Education meeting today, Atkinson highlighted a group of students who already have embraced the Give Five –Read Five campaign. Five high school students from Holland's United Methodist Church in Garner have developed a plan to collect 20,000 books for eight elementary schools in Garner. They are working with schools and businesses to place book collection boxes throughout their community. They have secured a warehouse and plan to organize the collected books by grade level and invite teachers to select books from the collection at the end of the year. The students received one of their first large donations at the Board meeting – 400 books from the Durham-based company MetaMetrics.

"We became involved in this project to prove how much youth can do in the community, especially with a program like Give Five - Read Five that impacts students not far from our own age," said Libby Bowes, a senior at Garner Magnet High School and a member of Holland's United Methodist Church. "The most important thing about this campaign is that it provides an opportunity to show kids how much their community cares about their education and their futures."

For more information on Give Five – Read Five, including tools to help schools and districts implement a Give Five – Read Five book collection, visit

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 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.