Students give back

Students select books for the Give Five-Read Five program.

Superintendent Dr. Stuart Blount speaks with a student for Give Five-Read Five campaign.

Generous residents in Clinton made a big difference in the lives of local children and contributed to a statewide goal in the process.

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI) recently announced that more than 533,000 books were collected through the summer reading campaign, Give Five-Read Five. Faith Jackson, community liaison for Clinton City Schools, reported that 1,306 books were collected to give to local students. The purpose of the program is help schools reduce summer learning loss.

“We collected a tremendous amount for our first time doing it,” Jackson said.

According to a news release from DPI, State Superintendent June Atkinson first launched Give Five-Read Five in 2013. Since its inception, more than 933,000 new and gently used books have been sent home with students as a part of Give Five-Read Five. In 2015, more than 270 schools and organizations participated by collecting more than half a million books. The amount doubled last year’s total of 277,000.

“Every year we have conducted this campaign, I have been amazed by the enthusiasm with which teachers, parents and community partners have embraced Give Five-Read Five,” Atkinson stated in a news release. “Thanks to their efforts, what started as a simple idea has now put nearly one million books in the hands of elementary students in just three years. I applaud the participating schools and their supporting communities for their continued hard work and dedication to reducing summer learning loss in North Carolina.”

DPI awarded prizes to school in three different size divisions ,who participated in independent Give Five-Read Five campaigns. As result, Aberdeen Primary (Moore County Schools), White Oak Elementary (Edenton-Chowan Schools) and Polenta Elementary (Johnston County Schools) will receive a one-year subscription to a school-wide literacy tool.

Students from L.C. Kerr school were allowed to pick books after the collection period came to an end. Since every child in preschool through first grade were not allowed to get five books, teachers were asked to select the most needy students.

Like other state officials, Jackson said it was a great opportunity for students. She said the students were excited about receiving the books and enjoyed showing Superintendent Dr. Stuart Blount, who was there during the book distribution.

“Hopefully next year, we’ll be able to double or triple that amount,” Jackson said about the school-wide effort. “The books collected are going to benefit the children.”