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WAKE Up and READ Book Drive extended through Feb. 29

WAKE Up and READ’s Annual Book Drive, which collects books to be distributed to 18 partner schools and childcare centers across Wake County, has been extended through Feb. 29.


Last year, the WAKE Up and READ Book Drive provided more than 90,000 books to more than 9,000 students at 15 partner schools and 16 child care centers in the spring to build their home libraries. Each student had the opportunity to select ten books based on their personal interests.


WAKE Up and READ is a community coalition united behind the shared goal that each and every child, regardless of race, ethnicity, or zip code, is reading on grade level by the end of third grade.


The coalition hopes to surpass last year’s book drive donations to build more home libraries and increase school and community partnerships. WAKE Up and READ has organized dozens of places to drop off new or gently used books across Wake County. One of those locations in A.B. Combs Magnet Elementary School.


“A lot of students don’t have access to books because they simply can’t get to them.” said Angie Headley, Combs school library media coordinator and volunteer for WAKE Up and READ. “This book drive gives kids access to books. That means books are in their homes, on their shelves, and at their fingertips for them to access whenever they want.” 

The books that are collected will be distributed to students at the chosen partner schools before they leave for summer vacation to help combat the “summer slide,” by keeping reading skills sharp over summer months. Summer slide is exacerbated by limited access to books during out-of-school time—a reality that has a more significant impact on students who live in neighborhoods with less book access. Donations from the book drive will help build home libraries, which have shown to be an evidenced-based strategy to address summer slide.

There are several ways to participate in the drive to support children’s literacy: 

  • Donate to help us purchase books from our carefully curated wishlists, developed by librarians from both the school system and public libraries.

  • Host a drop-off location to collect gently read books or host a virtual drive by sharing our wish lists with friends and family. 

  • Purchase books from the WAKE Up and READ wish lists.

  • Volunteer to help prepare books for distribution. 

“It’s incredibly easy to get involved with the book drive,” said Headley. “Whether you’re donating books, hosting a drive, shopping the wish list, or donating your time, there’s something that everyone can do to help.”