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About WAKE Up and Read

In 2012 key leaders from education, business, civic, philanthropic, and nonprofit agencies came together in a focused effort to increase childhood literacy in Wake County, North Carolina. Affiliated with the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, WAKE Up and Read was formed as a community-wide collaboration focused on the goal of having all children reading on grade-level by third grade. 

Why did the Collaborative choose this goal? Research shows that reading proficiency by the end of third grade is the most important indicator that a child is on track to graduate from high school on time, college and career ready. Sadly, about 67% of all children (and 80% of low income children) fail to achieve this important milestone.  

WAKE Up and Read is taking action in three areas to increase childhood literacy:


Children learn how the school cafeteria works at Kick-off to Kindergarten

 School Readiness: Children are born ready to learn, and need the adults in their lives to read, talk, and play with them. WAKE Up and Read is reaching out to parents of young children with ideas on ways they can support their child’s development. Through programs like Ready to Learn, Title I Pre-K or NC Pre-K, or events like Kick off to Kindergarten and Letterland at Pullen Park, WAKE Up and Read offers parents actionable information on supporting their child’s literacy development. Age specific bookmarks with ideas on fun ways parents can increase their child’s vocabulary and get them ready for school are available at events and on WAKE Up and Read’s website. Conversation starters are inserted in the inside cover of free books given at events to help parents.  To view the School Readiness Logic Model click here..

School Attendance: Kindergartners who are absent 10% or more of school days, whether excused or not, have lower academic performance that may persist even into the 5th grade. CLICK HERE to view the Attendance Logic Model.

Summer Learning Loss: Research shows that children who do not read or participate in enrichment activities during out of school time are at risk of losing 2-3 months of reading development during summer breaks. A 2004 study by Jimmy Kim at Harvard University found that reading just 4-5 books during the summer can prevent summer learning loss. Children need access to books, but approximately 67% of low income children do not have books in their homes, and trips to the library may not be possible.  To access the Summer Learning Loss Logic Model click here..

Children who received books started reading them on the spot!

Kids started reading their selections for their home libraries on the spot!


WAKE Up and Read conducts a book drive each year to help build home libraries and make books readily available to children who need them. Through the book drive, every child at 10 high need elementary schools and 20 childcare centers can choose 10 books and keep them for their home libraries. Parent literacy sessions are offered to provide suggestions on how to engage children in reading, talking, and playing every day. Age specific bookmarks and grade span activity cards are given to each parent that attends along with a free book of choice for each member of the family.