NEWS RELEASES 2013-14 :: JUNE 30, 2014


Elementary students across North Carolina have plenty of new books to read this summer as a result of the successful second annual "Give Five - Read Five" campaign. State Superintendent June Atkinson first launched the initiative in the spring of 2013 to provide students with books to read over summer break. As a part of the campaign, parents, business leaders and community members donated new or gently-used books to local elementary schools. The books were then sent home with students at the end of the school year.

This year's campaign was a huge success as 150 schools from 53 school districts collected a grand total of 277,334 books-more than double the amount of books collected last year by 74 participating schools.

"I am ecstatic about the results from the second year of this campaign," Atkinson said. "We doubled last year's book total and also increased the number of participating schools. These donations will enable students to read over summer vacation so that they can return to school in the fall better prepared to learn."

Three schools will receive one-year licenses to online literacy programs for collecting the most books in their size category:

  • Under 350 Students: Royal Oaks Elementary School (Cabarrus County Schools), 3,099 books;
  • 350-550 Students: Blue Ridge Elementary School (Ashe County Schools), 8,125 books; and
  • Over 550 students: Winterfield Elementary School (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools), 12,703 books.

While book distribution varied depending on the number of donations to each school, enough books were collected during the campaign to give each of the 69,847 students at the 150 participating schools at least three books each to take home. Atkinson said that she is very pleased with the progress made from the campaign's inaugural year and she hopes that the 2015 "Give Five - Read Five" campaign will bring in enough books to double this year's total.

School principals, media coordinators and district public information officers spread the word about the campaign and coordinated book collection and distribution at the local level. Large and small businesses and other organizations contributed new books and financial support to the effort. Members of the Fort Bragg Area Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., for example, provided Manchester Elementary in Cumberland County with more than 600 new and gently-used books.

Middle and high schools, after-school programs as well as churches coordinated their own book drives for their local elementary schools. Five high school students from Holland's United Methodist Church in Garner facilitated the collection of 27,000 books, which were distributed to eight Garner elementary schools.

Book stores also supported the effort as staff helped participants select books and offered discounts on books purchased for the campaign. For instance, the Dollar Book Exchange in Raleigh donated 3,000 books to Cooper Elementary in Johnston County. Many schools held reading pep rallies and other special events that allowed excited students to "shop" for new books at the end of the school year.

For more information, including a list of all the schools that participated in the campaign and their book donation totals, visit the Give Five - Read Five website.