ABC11 Together: Thousands of books donated to Wake County schools for summer reading

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Disney, ABC11's parent company, donated 1,000 new books on Thursday to the "Wake Up and Read" program for Wake County. (WTVD)

Disney, ABC11's parent company, donated 1,000 new books on Thursday to the "Wake Up and Read" program for Wake County.

In total, people and organizations donated 115,000 books. ABC11 was at Walnut Creek Elementary, one of many high-needs schools, as students filled up bags with books.

This is just one example of how ABC11 comes together with the community. The books the children got today could help keep them from falling behind this summer.

The children were so excited to pick out ten new books each. They're just some of the thousands of students at nine Wake County schools that got new books on Thursday.

"A lot of kids may not have the books so we went ahead and closed the gap," said Walnut Creek principal Vonda Martin.

ABC11 donated 1,000 books so these kids could have books of their own to read when they aren't in school.

"I don't want them to forget all that they've learned, they've worked really hard," Martin said. "I don't want them to lose any ground."

If kids keep turning the pages through the summer, they can stay on track to be reading on grade level by 3rd grade.

"We know children that are not reading on grade level in elementary school are 13 times more likely to not graduate from high school," said Angie Wright with Wake County Public Schools.

That's why Martin is making sure her students are armed with books for summer break.

"We want graduates, I'm looking ahead," Martin said. "I'm looking down the road and I want them to have a bright future, and without great literacy skills...it's going to be pretty bleak without that."

For parents with children home all summer, Martin advises parents to ask the kids about what they're reading. Keep their minds engaged even by asking questions and making sure they have something to read.

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