A summer reading campaign that breaks barriers and makes a difference
Guilford County Schools (GCS) in North Carolina wanted to launch a reading campaign to engage students most at risk of experiencing “summer slide”—the loss of academic progress during the summer months. Our task was to create an innovative reading campaign to ensure students and families have the resources they need to keep reading all summer long.
“Family engagement is critical to the success of our students in Guilford County Schools. When we needed to build excitement about summer reading, the Neimand team developed Break with a Book, a creative campaign for engaging students and their families that drove participation from 20,000 students. Central to campaign success was Neimand Collaborative’s communications strategy that relied on trusted community messengers supported by a media campaign that made summer reading fun and accessible to all students.”
Wanda Edwards, Executive Director
Communications & Community Engagement
Guilford County Schools
Driven by insights from parents and families of young children, we conceptualized, branded and implemented a county-wide campaign that made reading a fun part of summer vacation: Break with a Book. This program reminded students that reading isn’t a chore, it’s a fun way to relax during the hot summer months—and provided them with books to enjoy.
We conceptualized, branded and implemented a county-wide campaign that made reading a fun part of summer vacation: Break with a Book. The idea was to position reading as a way to take an adventurous trip without ever leaving home.
Through Break with a Book, more than 20,000 students selected six books to take home—and the campaign’s planned activities, outreach and materials helped them stay excited to keep reading over the summer break. GCS has garnered national attention for its commitment to close achievement and opportunity gaps through this program, including mentions in The 74 and Education Dive.
Each K-5 student across the district’s 49 Title I elementary schools was given six books—which they selected from a wide range of culturally diverse books at all reading levels—and a passport to chart their summer reading adventures.