Summer Reading Success - Let's Keep It Going
August 20, 2010

In June, I visited Turner Creek Elementary School in Cary to talk to a class of 4th graders about the importance of reading during their time away from the classroom and to kick off the "READ NC" literacy campaign. As a part of the campaign, we created the "READ NC" Web page at and reached out to superintendents, principals, teachers, parents and media to share resources that help students use Lexile measures find books well-matched to their subject interests and reading comprehension levels.

I am proud to say we have had great success with this initiative. The "Find a Book" search tool featured on the "READ NC" Web page and on had nearly 20,000 visitors from North Carolina in the months of June and July. Only one other state in the country was ahead of us in its number of visitors to this site during the same time period. In addition, teachers, school media coordinators and others who learned about our "READ NC" efforts were inspired to share some innovative initiatives they have been working on to promote reading in their own schools and districts. For example:

  • Sardis Elementary School in Monroe opens its media center once a week during the summer to allow parents and students to check out books;
  • Durham County Schools jumpstarted their summer reading program by partnering with "BookMark: Leave Your Mark" to collect over 10,000 new and gently-used books which were distributed to nine local elementary schools;
  • Teachers in Anson County Schools encouraged K-5 students to read by providing incentives for recording reading times, and will ask students to illustrate scenes from and write about books they have read over the summer;
  • Students at Jones Intermediate School in Mount Airy will receive books, instead of toys, as rewards for positive behavior intervention and support;
  • Surry County Schools distributed complementary information from Scholastic to parents to encourage them to read to their children; and
  • Granville County Schools had a successful third summer with its bookmobile program. This time around, ESL teachers and high school and community volunteers also coordinated bookmobile visits in several neighborhoods with high populations of Limited English Proficient and economically-disadvantaged students and hosted a weekly book exchange.
I applaud these schools and districts for going above and beyond to make sure our children continued to read and learn over the summer. As we prepare to begin a new school year, let's keep this momentum going and stay focused on reading so all of our students gain the strong literacy skills they need for success in college and a career.




June St. Clair Atkinson
State Superintendent