June 3, 2021
By Benay Hicks, Communications Manager
On May 29, 2021, 47 Book Babies graduates and their families gathered on Zoom for a commencement ceremony. The online event included beautiful messages of congratulations from Governor Roy Cooper and Book Harvest’s very own Meytal Barak. In addition to the pomp and circumstance, the Book Babies team pre-recorded fun and interactive videos, including a dance activity, a paper flower craft, and story times.
But the virtual ceremony on May 29th was simply the frosting on the cake…there was so much more that went into celebrating these 47 graduates!
The Class of 2021 was Book Harvest’s fourth – and largest – group of graduates, and we weren’t going to let a pandemic keep us from celebrating in style. A plan was hatched: over the course of two days, a caravan of Book Harvest staff and volunteers would visit all 47 graduates at their homes for a personal photo shoot and presentation of their diploma! Caps and gowns in various colors were ordered for each child and diplomas were printed. Graduation Boxes were lovingly decorated by Book Babies parents and volunteers, and they were filled with books, learning activities, and games. Every small detail was attended to in order to make this moment special.
On May 28 and 29, a dozen cars decorated with streamers and balloons drove out of the Book Harvest parking lot. The team went from home to home, presenting each graduate with personalized boxes and diplomas. Graduates wore their caps and gowns and some families had outfits to match. There were decorations on houses, speeches, and slideshows. Some of the families simply basked in the joy of the moment, beaming as their little graduate soaked up well-earned attention.
Graduates and families were gifted with items that will enable them to maintain the learning gains achieved through Book Babies, and launch them into school with the confidence and skills needed to succeed. And of course, they will have access to free books for life through Book Harvest!
Congratulations to our Book Babies Class of 2021! Enjoy the recap video and photos below.
We’d like to thank the following funders who made the last five years possible:
A.J. Fletcher Foundation
Bastian Family Charitable Foundation Carolina Hurricanes Foundation
Curious George Fund of Combined Jewish Philanthropies
Durham Merchants Association
Harry L. and Helen M. Rust Charitable Foundation
Julia Ann Harrison Memorial Fund of Triangle Community Foundation
Mary G. and George E. Morris Charitable Fund
Mebane Charitable Foundation
Morgan Creek Foundation
Reilly-Cullinan Family Fund of The Winston-Salem Foundation
The Grable Foundation
The Leon Levine Foundation
The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust
Triangle Community Foundation
United Way of the Greater Triangle
Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation
…and many individual supporters!