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The NCDPI first launched the statewide Give Five - Read Five campaign in 2013 to address summer learning loss. As a part of this annual campaign, parents, business leaders and community members donate five or more new or gently used books to local elementary schools so that students have books to take home at the end of the school year because research from Harvard shows that reading five books helps students to better retain literacy skills over the summer.

During the first year of the campaign, 74 elementary schools collected 123,152 books. The 2014 campaign built on this success as 150 schools from 53 school districts collected and distributed 277,334 books—more than double what was collected in the previous year. In 2015, we reached the goal of collecting more than 500,000 books statewide! See the final numbers below and read about the winning schools in our press release.

  • 2015 Book Donation Totals by School/District/Organization:
    (xlsx, 80kb)

In 2016, we are taking the Give Five – Read Five campaign one step further. As a part of a new partnership with myON, a division of Capstone, the N.C. Department of Public Instruction is offering every student in the state access to the personalized literacy tool myON Reader.  Students at every grade level will be able to use this tool during the summer months to select from thousands of titles and download free books well-matched to their reading levels and personal interests. As an added bonus, parents can use the tool to track how many pages and hours students spend reading and even measure their literacy growth while they are away from the classroom. Visit to learn more.

Also in 2016, the top four schools that collect the most books receive a free one-year schoolwide license to online literacy tools provided by campaign partners Achieve3000, Reading Horizons and myON. Teachers, principals and others should report book collection totals to by June 17 to be eligible for a prize. Other Give Five – Read Five partners and supporters include MetaMetrics, the North Carolina Campus Compact, Book Harvest and Communities In Schools of North Carolina.

Thanks to all the schools, districts, churches, nonprofits, businesses and other community partners who will support the 2016 Give Five – Read Five campaign! Your efforts will help thousands of students enter school this fall better prepared to learn.




June Atkinson
State Superintendent of Public Instruction