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ROLESVILLE, N.C. (AP) -- Students from 10 Wake County middle schools are gathering around North Carolina State University basketball coach Mark Gottfried to hear him talk about the importance of reading.

The event Friday at Rolesville Middle School is designed to inspire the more than 800 children to be dedicated, independent readers.

The event is part of a national program sponsored by the National Association of Basketball Coaches Foundation and locally funded by the Raleigh-based parent company of the Carquest auto parts chain.

The company provided rewards such as water bottles, key chains and ice cream socials as nearly 4,000 students read more than 24,000 books during the last school year.

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