NEWS RELEASES 2012-13 :: JULY 18, 2012


WILMINGTON – The first day of school is still more than a month away, yet some students and parents have already returned to H.C. Bellamy Elementary School for some fun and learning.  As a part of the school's summer reading program, the library is open from 12:30 - 6:30 p.m. each Wednesday for parents and students to check out books, read magazines, assemble puzzles and participate in enrichment activities. 

State Superintendent June Atkinson visited the school today to honor this summer literacy program and to present Principal Bennie Bryant with a one-year subscription to Scholastic Reading Counts! to help students remain enthusiastic about reading all year long.

"Research has shown that tens of thousands of our youngest students lose valuable reading skills over the course of a summer because they do not have books to read, adults to read to them or any type of continued literacy instruction," said State Superintendent June Atkinson. "Extended learning opportunities like the one at Bellamy Elementary School help keep students' skills fresh so they can start a new school year ready to learn and build on the great progress they have already made."

As a part of a contest associated with the "READ NC" summer reading campaign, Atkinson presented the school with a one-year subscription to Scholastic Reading Counts! donated by Scholastic.This Lexile-based independent reading program is for students in grades K-12 and combines reading practice and software-based reading assessments to help boost literacy skills.

The "READ NC" campaign is a partnership between the NCDPI and Durham-based MetaMetrics®, an educational measurement organization that developed The Lexile Framework for Reading.

"I would like to extend my congratulations as well to Principal Bryant for outstanding commitment and leadership in promoting reading throughout the year," said MetaMetrics President and Co-founder, Malbert Smith III, Ph.D. "Reading over the summer makes a big difference in student achievement."

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. These measures are used to assesses both students' reading abilities and the text difficulty in books, magazines and even newspapers and can be found at the bottom of students' test results reports along with a link to the "READ NC" Web page.

"READ NC" Web page includes the North Carolina version of the Lexile book map that features 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 tool that 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. Other "READ NC" materials include Lexile FAQ information sheets and other documents that parents, teachers and librarians can use to learn more about Lexile measures.

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.