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WAKE Up and Read Program Recognized as a 2014 Pacesetter by the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

National Award Recognizes Efforts of Program’s Second Annual Book Drive to Raise Awareness of Childhood Literacy in Wake County

Raleigh, NC, June 11, 2015 --( WAKE Up and Read, a collaborative community program focused on increasing Wake County Public School System students’ overall reading proficiency by third grade, was recognized as a 2014 Pacesetter by the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. The WAKE Up and Read program was one of 30 nationwide community efforts to receive this honor for superior efforts to address the problems low-income children face in becoming proficient readers.

The WAKE Up and Read program is led by six agencies in the local community, including Books Are Magic, Marbles Kids Museum, Motheread, Wake County Public School System, Wake County Smart Start, and WakeEd Partnership. The team is united by a focused effort to improve reading scores throughout the county.

The foundation of the award was the annual WAKE Up and Read book drive from February 1 to March 15, 2015. The drive was a countywide initiative, with more than 500 volunteers participating across more than 150 collection sites throughout Wake County’s 12 municipalities. The book drive collected 115,000 books, exceeding the drive’s goal of 100,000 new and used book donations.

The book donations from the WAKE Up and Read book drive go to nine of WCPSS’s high needs schools, including Barwell Elementary, Brentwood Elementary, Creech Road Elementary, East Garner Elementary, Fox Road Elementary, Hodge Road Elementary, Smith Elementary, Wakelon Elementary and Walnut Creek Elementary. A total of 5,960 students across these nine schools and 1,100 children across 20 childcare centers will benefit from donations from the WAKE Up and Read book drive. Each child selected 10 books from the book drive to add to their personal libraries just before the school year ends, a critical time for learning loss.

To learn more about the WAKE Up and Read book drive, visit

Launched in May 2010, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a collaborative effort of funders, nonprofit partners, business leaders, government agencies, states and communities across the nation to ensure that many more children from low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship. Each of the 30 recognized Pacesetter honorees were selected from among 76 communities in the national Grade-Level Reading Communities Network that participated in a series of activities in 2014 designed to strengthen their efforts.

“We are honored to be a part of WAKE Up and Read and appreciative of the Campaign for Grade Level Reading’s recognition of our work as a community collaborative,” said Teresa Pierrie, WakeEd Director of Programs. “WAKE Up and Read’s annual book drive has allowed organizations throughout the community to make an impact on the collaborative’ s mission to increase awareness of the importance of childhood literacy.”

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About WAKE Up and Read:
WAKE Up and Read is a community collaboration focused on the goal of having all student s reading on grade-level by grade three. This initiative originated as a Grade-Level Reading Campaign grant proposal. Key leaders from education, business, civic, philanthropic and non-profit agencies are participating in this collaboration. The focus of this national initiative targets these areas: school readiness, regular school, attendance and summer learning. For more information, visit
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Amanda Romano

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