Wake Ed

Wake County children’s book drive short thousands of books

Second graders Natalia Fong, left, and Kaylin McCurry, right, select books donated through the WAKE Up and Read book drive at Brentwood Elementary School in 2014. Organizers say they need the community’s help because this year’s drive is in danger of not reaching the goal of collecting 110,000 books.
Second graders Natalia Fong, left, and Kaylin McCurry, right, select books donated through the WAKE Up and Read book drive at Brentwood Elementary School in 2014. Organizers say they need the community’s help because this year’s drive is in danger of not reaching the goal of collecting 110,000 books. sshaw@newsobserver.com

An annual book drive designed to provide reading material to low-income Wake County families is in danger of not meeting its goal of collecting 110,000 books.

Organizers of the 2016 WAKE Up and Read book drive said Monday that they’ve only collected 21,000 children’s books so far, way below this year’s goal of receiving 110,000 books in February. With the numbers “way too low,” people in Wake County are being urged to go through bookshelves, closets, attics and garages to find books that are appropriate for children from birth to 12 years old.

“We desperately need our community to 'wake up' and help us get new or gently used books into the hands of children who need them,” said Sherri Miller, the Wake County school system’s literacy director, in a written statement. “It is critical that we have more students reading in the very early years. Solid reading skills must be in place for all other kinds of learning to happen.”

Volunteers will be at Cary Towne Center to collect books at the following dates and times:

Wednesday, 9 a.m. to noon

Thursday, 5 to 7 p.m.

Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

March 9, 1 to 4 p.m.

March 12, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The goal is to give 10 books to every student at 10 elementary schools: Barwell Road, Brentwood, Fox Road and Walnut Creek in Raleigh; Creech Road, East Garner and Smith in Garner; Hodge Road in Knightdale; Lincoln Heights Elementary in Fuquay-Varina and Wakelon Elementary in Zebulon.

In addition, organizers want to give books to childcare centers near those schools and 20 community centers.

For more information, visit http://wakeupandread.org/.

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