PITT COUNTY SCHOOLS LAUNCH SUMMER SLIDE PREVENTION PROGRAM: Community Leaders, Organizations Partner to Support Summer Reading

In collaboration with READ ENC Community Literacy Coalition, the Pitt County School District has launched a K-3 summer reading slide prevention program sponsored by Kids Read Now. In addition to funding from Pitt County Schools, community leaders, businesses, organizations, and area citizens are partnering to support the project. The Eddie and Jo Allison Smith Family Foundation offered a challenge to others in the community and matched donations dollar for dollar to fund the the Kids Read Now pilot program.  Community partners accepting the Smith Family Foundation include Taft Family Ventures, Vidant Health, Mayne Pharma, United Way of Pitt County Board Members, and individual community contributors.


For the summer 2019 pilot, (1125) K-3 Pitt County elementary school students are participating from five (5) Pitt County Elementary Schools, including Falkland, Grifton, Northwest, South Greenville, and Wahl-Coates. The Pitt County School District is the first North Carolina public school system to launch the Kids Read Now program. This research-based, data-driven program mails books chosen by students and their teachers to their homes across the summer.  Additionally, parents are engaged weekly through email, text and phone calls to assist, motivate and encourage. 


 “Pitt County is pleased to add the Kids Read Now program to our efforts to provide impactful summer learning for our students. This program will help us reduce summer reading loss and the prospect of engaging families to more actively participate in summer reading is very exciting,” said Lisa Tate, PCS Director of Elementary Education.

READ ENC has participated in all five PCS Family Reading Night events noted below where students received their first 3 books and information about how to receive others throughout the summer. Teachers, principals, and school staff assisted at events where excited students left with books they are anxious to read given that they chose the books with their teachers’ assistance. 

Falkland-May 16, 6pm School Cafeteria (school contact: Keisha Speight)

Grifton-May 21, 5:30 pm Media Center (school contacts: Amy Hahn and Denise Owens)

Northwest-June 20, 9:15 am Media Center (school contact: Diana Leggett)

South Greenville-June 4, 5-7pm Cafeteria/Multipurpose Room (school contact: Katie Richardson)

Wahl-Coates-May 21, 6pm Media Center (school contact: Betty Miller)


“The National Summer Learning Institute estimates that the summer slide accounts for two-thirds of the reading achievement gap by ninth grade between economically-disadvantaged children and their middle-income peers,” said Terry Atkinson, READ ENC Executive Director. With this impact in mind, Atkinson credits the Pitt County Schools for making a bold investment in lessening summer reading loss. Data from the PCS summer pilot will be supplied by Kids Read Now so that impact can be determined. 

Media coverage:

Daily Reflector


WNCT (local CBS affiliate)  https://www.wnct.com/news/local-news/online-originals-family-reading-night_20190605005220/2053164382