During the current pandemic, there have been an unprecedented number of needs that have arisen. Unfortunately, the need for books in low-income homes is not a new thing., The ease of students getting to the school libraries has been significantly impacted, therefore, the need for books in the home became more apparent. Even with the uncertainty of how our annual book drive would turn out due to the pandemics effect on families, we persisted with our annual tradition.
Two words to describe the book drive: ABUNDANTLY SUCCESSFUL! You all showed up during these difficult times to give back to those in our community. And to say thank you is not enough!
Thanks to your generosity, the Chatham Education Foundation (CEF) and Chatham Reads distributed around 3,000 books back into our community between Thanksgiving and Christmas. These books will help to build at-home libraries.
We partnered with Chatham County Schools and the Chatham County Schools Nutrition Services to distribute the largest number of books to the students in need. Chatham Reads also partnered with the CORA Food Pantry and the YMCA Scholastic Support Centers to distribute books to those in their programs. The Chatham Reads Little Libraries have also been refreshed and free book bins have been added to the Pittsboro Laundry Land and What-A-Wash in Siler City. There are a couple of other partnerships that are also in the works.
A well-educated student finds gainful employment, is less likely to commit a crime, and is less likely to need public assistance. However, in order to be successful, graduate from high school on time, and find meaningful work, a student must read proficiently. Studies show that students that do not read proficiently by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school. In order to fill jobs and be viable candidates, it all starts with reading!
Currently, in Chatham County, 61% of our 3rd graders read proficiently. If you look at our economically disadvantaged students, only 43% are reading proficiently by the end of third grade.
Our goal is to use literacy interventions and access to literacy resources to increase the percentage of students reading proficiently. Thank you for being part of our initiative! You are making a difference in the lives of students in our community!
We appreciate the following amazing businesses and a personal home that hosted a donation box for us: 501 Pharmacy, The Briar Chapel Clubhouse, Opus Financial, and Peppercorn Cafe in Siler City. Also, to the awesome volunteers that helped us sort all the donations. We could not have made this significant of an impact without your support! It is amazing to see our community coming together during these difficult times to make a difference!