Book Boxes: Bringing Books to Families

May 20, 2021

By Benay Hicks, Communications Manager

Finding culturally inclusive, age-appropriate children’s books became a lot harder during the pandemic, and many of us were stuck either spending money we didn’t have or reading the same stories over and over and over…and over again for an entire year! With libraries closed and schools shut, we heard from numerous families that Book Harvest was the only way to keep their child’s bookshelf stocked with books. Yet we also heard that it was often difficult to get to our main location in Durham to pick up books.

White Rock Child Development Center Book Box

So how can Book Harvest provide families with quality, diverse books without asking them to come to us? Simple. We go to them.

Introducing Book Boxes.

Book Harvest Book Boxes are filled with dozens of new and gently used, culturally inclusive children’s books. The boxes are regularly stocked with books from Book Harvest, ensuring that children and families have reliable, steady access to high-quality books to harvest and keep.

We piloted the outdoor Book Box initiative earlier this year at the Durham Bus Station and in the green space beside El Futuro; books at both locations fly off the shelves! Because of the success of these pilot boxes, we plan to install and launch a total of eight Book Boxes throughout Durham in 2021, providing more children with the opportunities to build home libraries – an essential foundation for language and literacy development.

We officially launched our new Book Box initiative on Friday, April 30, with a ribbon cutting and the installation of a Book Box at the White Rock Child Development Center in Durham. Our new, brightly colored Book Harvest Book Box was built by Book Harvest volunteer, Miguel Rubiera (seen below with BH’s Executive Director, Ginger Young). Staff from Book Harvest and White Rock Child Development Center attended the event, along with children affiliated with the Center.

Our team is so excited to bring books to the community in this way, and look forward to the day we can see bright green and orange Book Boxes throughout Durham! We invited you to visit the Book Boxes as often as you’d like — here is a map to find the Book Box (or book shelf) nearest you.

Book Harvest is grateful to a Community Care Fund grant from Duke Doing Good Employee Giving for its support of the White Rock Child Development Center Book Box installation and ongoing book supply.