New Kids on the Books was started in 2019 by Suzanne and Dave Lucey in an effort to provide reading materials to children in need throughout Wake Forest and the surrounding communities. Growing up in troubled families, books gave them hope when there was none.
Reading is the most significant factor that influences a child’s educational success.
Up until 3rd grade, students are learning to read. After that point students read to learn. Those students who are not proficient at 2nd and 3rd grade run the risk of falling academically behind. Providing books and helping to foster a love of reading with students during these years is critical.
Only 65% of students in Wake County Public Schools: which is one of the better counties in NC, tested proficient in English Language Arts/Reading Performance.* Children who aren’t reading on level by the end of 3rd grade are more at risk of dropping out of high school.
NKOTB gives children in our community new books to have in the home through donations to schools, teachers, and other local initiatives like the Hope House. NKOTB is supporting the construction of a Free Little Library that will be located outside Hope House.
Books are both donated by publishers and purchased through Page 158 Books.
In addition, NKOTB is in the process of setting up a Read With Me program where area high school students volunteer to spend time reading with at-risk elementary school students.
We want to reach every child in the area to make sure they CAN read, and then LOVE to read. With so many falling behind because of the pandemic, and even some beforehand not testing proficiently, we want to shower the early grades with books inspiring them to read. Studies show that when private prisons are built they look to where kids aged 9 to 12 can’t read–knowing there is a greater chance these children will end up in jail. In fact 60% of people in jail cannot read well.
What We’ve Done Already
- Applied for and received hundreds of Advanced Reader Copies of children’s and young adult books from HarperCollins for distribution to students in our area.
- Purchased donation copies of Alan’s Gratz newest book Ground Zero to give to local middle school libraries.
- Assisted Grandma’s Bookshelf in providing Kwame Mbalia’s Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky for each student at Wake Forest Elementary School.
- Raised funds through used book sales.