RALEIGH — The “Read NC” literacy campaign, a project of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, has announced it’s summer program.

State Superintendent June Atkinson launched the program on June 1 at Turner Creek Elementary School in Cary.

The “Read NC” website features a reading map, book search tool and other free resources that teachers, parents and students can access to help them use Lexile measures to find challenging and engaging books to read.

Lexile measures assess both a student’s reading ability and the text difficulty in books, magazines and newspapers. In North Carolina, students in grades 3-8, as well as high school students taking the English I assessment, receive a Lexile measure on their end-of-grade or end-of-course test reports.

“The ‘Read NC’ literacy campaign is about helping students find books that will interest them and assist them in improving their reading abilities even when they are not in the classroom,” said Atkinson. “Teachers work so hard during the year to build students’ literacy skills and we need to do all we can to make sure their progress is not lost during the summer.”

A valuable reading resource featured on the website is the “Find a Book” search. This tool allows teachers, parents and students to search online 10s of thousands of book titles by Lexile measure and topic to find books that will tap into a student’s personal interests and complement a specific reading comprehension level. The book search is free, easy to use and allows users to see if book titles are currently available in local public libraries.

“We applaud North Carolina’s efforts to extend learning beyond the classroom by encouraging students to read over summer break and throughout the year,” said MetaMetrics President Malbert Smith III, Ph.D. “If students read over summer break-when research shows most students will experience some decline in their reading abilities-we can help bridge the academic achievement gap and better prepare all students to graduate college and career ready.” MetaMetrics is a Durham-based educational measurement organization that developed The Lexile Framework for Reading.

Titles include, “AIDS and the New Orphans: Coping with Death,” “And Tango Makes Three,” “Being Different: Lambda Youth Speak Out,” “Gay and Lesbian Parents,” and much more.

For more information on the program or to learn more about Lexile, contact the NCDPI Communications division at 919-807-3450 or visit ncpublicschools.org/accountability/lexiles. : :

Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' former associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director.