Joined by an excited group of kindergartners who had just enjoyed a special story time in the East Garner Elementary School media center, NC Superintendent Mark Johnson today announced the state’s NC Reads initiative.
The launch of NC Reads will promote three goals for the summer of 2017 to combat the summer brain drain:
* collect books, and funds for books, to donate to preschoolers and students for summer reading;
* distribute free subscriptions for every student in K-5 to myON, which provides each user with a personalized literacy environment; and
* develop the NC Reads online resource to seamlessly connect volunteers, donors, and stakeholders to literacy efforts and programs across North Carolina.
As NC Reads continues beyond this summer, NC Reads will expand to:
* encourage and support preschool literacy efforts to ensure children are kindergarten ready;
* align the efforts of donors, volunteers, and stakeholders to best support literacy in preschool and throughout school; and
* maintain a seamless continuum of literacy support from preschool to graduation.
“All North Carolinians can play a role in developing a state of readers,” said State Superintendent Mark Johnson. “Every parent or caretaker should take the time to read to their preschooler. Every student needs access to books at home. NC Reads highlights literacy programs and connects donors and volunteers to local opportunities to support literacy.”
This is the fifth consecutive year that the NC Department of Public Instruction has encouraged local communities to collect or purchase and distribute appropriate books to elementary school students. A revamped website will provide a clearinghouse of local book drive sponsors so that volunteers and donations can be connected to local organizations that sponsor local book drives and fundraising efforts.
Johnson noted that, beyond community engagement and donations for students, NC Reads will focus on providing books to preschoolers and encouraging adults to read to their children. “Consistently reading to our youngest from the very start is an important way that adults can help their children be ready for kindergarten and beyond,” Johnson said. “We will partner with hospitals, pediatricians, preschools, and others who serve our state’s youngest learners so that we make sure books are read in every preschooler’s home.”