JOHNSTON COUNTY – During the week of July 10th, Read to Grow JoCo celebrated National Summer Learning Week by hosting their Paws for Reading Events for the third consecutive year. Spanning from Benson to Kenly, Clayton to Princeton, children throughout the county adopted stuffed reading pals and pledged to read to them for 20 minutes each day during the summer.
Over 250 young readers across 12 events took home a new book and heard a story from a local celebrity including Selma Mayor Byron McCallister, Smithfield Mayor Andy Moore, Clayton Council Member Michael Sims, and Carolina author, Kimberly Johnson. Parents benefited too – learning new ways to support their child’s literacy journey and eager to implement strategies such as making a reading routine, checking out new library books, and reading as a family.
National Summer Learning Week emphasizes the importance of learning throughout the summer to ensure children return to school ready to succeed. The proclamation was presented by Chuck Williams, a member of Read to Grow JoCo and its Summer Learning Loss Action Team, and adopted by the Johnston County Board of Commissioners on May 15.
Read to Grow members believe summer is a crucial time period that can serve as an opportunity for children performing below grade level to catch up to their higher achieving peers. By educating about the effects of summer learning loss, and empowering parents, educators, legislators, and the community to advocate for summer learning opportunities, we can increase the potential for every child to succeed in school and life. The success of these events is credited to a strong collaboration with many of the county’s public libraries, all of the wonderful celebrity readers, and the work of volunteers from the Summer Learning Loss Action Team.
Read to Grow consists of a wide variety of community members including business leaders, faith community members, families, Partnership for Children of Johnston County, My Kids Club, Johnston County Public Schools and their Board of Education. As a collaborative group, Read to Grow is working to connect resources, develop initiatives, and achieve the targets and milestones set to impact the 3 pillars of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (CGLR), kindergarten readiness, chronic absenteeism, and summer learning loss.