‘Give Five, Read Five’

Published 8:50 pm Monday, April 21, 2014

PENDLETON – Have you ever heard of the term “summer loss”? This is not a seasonal diet program, but rather a troubling trend in which students lose valuable literacy skills when they stop reading during their break from school.

Educational administrators at one R-C area school are encouraging local citizens and businesses to help reverse this trend.

Low-income children are especially susceptible to this problem because they often go home to an environment where there are very few books or other reading resources. As a result, by the end of the fifth grade, these students are approximately 2 ½ years behind their more affluent peers in terms of reading ability, primarily because of summer loss.

Research from Harvard has shown that even reading four or five books over the summer helps prevent the summer slump. For this reason, in 2013 the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction launched the “Give Five—Read Five” campaign. Parents, business leaders and members of communities were asked to donate five new or gently-used books to their local elementary school. In 2013, elementary schools in North Carolina collected 123,125 books to send home with students.

Willis Hare Elementary School is excited about joining this statewide effort to maintain the literacy skills of the students and prevent summer reading loss.

“We are asking for your help to collect five books for each of our 360 students. Our goal for 2014 is to collect 1,800 books by May 2,” said Willis Hare Principal Wanda Briggs-Trevino.

“If your business is interested in helping our school with this effort, we would like for you to display a flyer at your business with a box for book donations,” Briggs-Trevino stated. “When your box is full, please contact the school and we will arrange to pick up your donations.”

There is even an option for businesses to help with this project if they are unable to accept the books.

“If your business is interested in participating, but cannot collect books, monetary donations will also be accepted,” Briggs-Trevino said. “Willis Hare has a partnership with the Scholastic book company’s Family and Community Engagement (FACE) program. This program allows the school to purchase books from Scholastic at a greatly reduced price when the books are given to the families for their home libraries.”

Those wishing to make a monetary donation can do so by making checks payable to Willis Hare Elementary School and mailed to 429 Willis Hare RoadPendleton, NC 27862.

“Thank you in advance for all that you do to support Willis Hare Elementary School’s Give Five – Read Five program,” Briggs-Trevino concluded.

Those wanting to learn more about the program can contact the school at 252-585-1900.

Additionally, the school has a box in its lobby area where books can be dropped off.