Book Babies

Book Babies partners with families of Medicaid eligible children to develop their child’s early language and literacy skills. An evidence-informed literacy coaching partnership, Book Babies begins when a baby is born and is sustained over five years. Book Babies builds rich relationships and provides families with the information and resources they need to develop the foundation for their children’s school readiness and school success.


School readiness begins at birth

Book Babies partners with parents of newborns, equipping them with the tools they need to prepare their children for kindergarten and beyond.

Our groundbreaking, evidence-informed home visiting program provides 20 new, age appropriate books to participating children and parents every year from birth until their children start kindergarten. Book Babies Coaches partner with parents of more than 300 children ages 0 to 5 in two locations in North Carolina, Durham County and Forsyth County. Together, coaches & parents set literacy goals for their children, mark their progress as they prepare for school, and help ensure that they start kindergarten ready to learn.

  • With 80% of brain development occurring in the first three years, access to books starting at birth is essential to kindergarten-readiness and long-term school success.
  • By the time a child graduates from Book Babies and starts kindergarten, she will have a home library of 100+ books and her parents will have received 10+ literacy coaching home visits.
  • Between home visits, Book Babies Coaches provide parents with a host of supports, including reading tips by text, parent book clubs, service on parent leadership teams, and family celebrations.

See what a Book Babies home visit looks like in this two-minute video:


History of Book Babies

Book Babies launched in Durham County in 2013. In May 2018, our inaugural class of Book Babies graduated from the program, ready and eager to take kindergarten by storm! Read more about our inaugural graduation celebration (and check out our proud graduates in their caps and gowns!) in this reflection from Executive Director Ginger Young.

Also in 2018, Book Harvest was proud to collaborate with Imprints Cares to launch Book Babies in Winston Salem. Imprints Cares has a distinguished 50-year track record of providing excellent home visiting support to families in Forsyth County and is on track to enroll 80 newborns in Book Babies at Imprints Cares in its first year.

Our inaugural class of Book Babies graduates!
Our inaugural class of Book Babies graduates!

In 2017, Book Harvest embarked on an exciting and important partnership with external researchers to conduct a longitudinal randomized control trial evaluation of the Book Babies program. This RCT evaluation will be conducted in both Durham and Forsyth counties through the year 2024. It was preceded by a pilot evaluation, whose findings were very encouraging. Check out the executive summary of the 2017 findings and the press release about these findings. Read more details and download a pdf about the full evaluation here.

In 2020, there were 281 children enrolled from 274 families. Due to the pandemic many home visits were virtual, but there were over 850 literacy coaching sessions conducted in 2020.

You can learn more about how to enroll in Book Babies here.

Book Babies Parent Newsletters

Boletín informativo en español

En español

Primavera 2021


Book Babies Enrollment

Enrollment is open for our Book Babies program.  If you have a newborn that is Medicaid eligible, younger than 16 weeks, and you live in Durham County; you might be able to enroll your baby! Please fill out the form below and a Book Babies team member will be in touch. If you have any questions you can call or text us at 919-907-0998. Thank you.

Estamos inscribiendo familias al programa Book Babies. Si tiene un recién nacido que es elegible para Medicaid, menor de 16 semanas y vive en el condado de Durham; ¡quizás pueda inscribir a su bebé! Llene el formulario a continuación y un miembro del equipo de Book Babies se comunicará con usted. Si tiene alguna pregunta, nos puede llamar o mandar un texto al 919-907-0998. Muchas gracias.

Book Babies Enrollment Form / Book Babies forma de inscripcion

Get Books for Your Family!