As the doors of a school close behind students when they leave for the summer, unfortunately, so do the covers of books.
In an effort to encourage summer reading, Clinton City Schools has taken part in the Give Five-Read Five campaign initiated by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction to address summer learning loss.
“We really appreciate the Clinton City Schools community and all they do to promote the advancement of literacy for our students,” Dr. Mark Duckworth, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, said. “These book donations enable us to provide a much needed resource to our students for continued growth.”
The campaign, according to Faith Jackson, community liaison for Clinton City Schools, asks 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 and read during the summer.
“I have known students to go home in the summer and not pick up books or go to the library,” Jackson stated. “This campaign is an opportunity for students to have books to read during the summer.”
With a goal of 2,000 books in mind, Jackson and other leaders of the school system are asking book donations be made through May 27 at any of the local elementary schools or central office. Last year’s efforts produced 1,256 books, allowing the school system to give five books to more than 250 local elementary students.
The majority of the books were distributed to K-2 students at L.C. Kerr and Butler Avenue schools.
“This is the fundamental age to get started reading,” Jackson said. “We want to make sure our students don’t lose what they have learned during the school year.”
According to research done at Harvard University, studies show that reading just five books helps students to better retain literacy skills over the summer, which Clinton City Schools superintendent Dr. Stuart Blount said, helps improve the overall academic skills of students.
“Thanks to all the schools, civic organizations, and community members that contributed to the Give Five-Read 5 Campaign in 2015,” Blount said. “Due to your donations, we were able to collect and distribute over 1,200 books to our students last year. Our students were able to select the books that appealed to them. I remember seeing the excitement on the faces of our students as they selected books to keep as their own.”
Being able to provide the five books to students, Blount said, only encourages them to continue reading in the summer.
“The purpose of the Give Five-Read Five campaign is to get books to students so they may continue to read and learn,” Blount said. “The more they read the more our students learn. Research has shown that students who improve their literacy skills improve in all academic areas. As the Give Five-Read Five 2016 Campaign kicks off, we look forward to being able to provide books to our students and to encourage them to read more often this summer.”
The campaign started statewide in 2013 and during the first year, 74 elementary schools collected 123,152 books. That number more than doubled during the second year, collecting 277,334 books. More than 500,000 books were collected last year.
For more information, contact Jackson at 910-592-3132 or through email at [email protected]
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.