Preparing for Launch…

By Benay Hicks
December 16, 2022

Book Harvest is just two weeks away from launching into its second decade of work, and the crew behind the launch is bigger and more well-equipped than ever. The organization has continued to grow throughout the past ten years and what was once just one woman and her minivan, is now a staff of nearly 20.

Our latest permanent hires this fall and winter include Emily Ragland, Perry Robinson, and Ranita Anderson — all of whom are integral parts of the Book Harvest team. We are also grateful to Lician Hernandez, who is temporarily filling the role of Pre-K/K Transition Coach. We are excited to finish 2021 strong, and launch into 2022 with a solid crew.

Emily Ragland joined Book Harvest in November as the Book Babies Durham Manager. She oversees the Book Babies program in Durham County and all aspects of program delivery, data systems and program evaluation, and the development and nurturing of community partnerships in support of the program’s growth and effectiveness.

Emily has a Masters in Youth, Family & Community Sciences, and a Graduate Certificate in Family Life Education and Coaching. She has 15 years of experience working with youth and families!

She loves to hang out with her family and cuddle her dogs, and her favorite children’s book is Amelia Bedelia.

She’s hopeful that everyone who works with children and families understands the importance of being trauma educated so our youth are not turning to unsafe means to address challenges.

Perry Robinson came to us through AmeriCorps in October and will be with us in that capacity for the year. He provides program and administrative support for the Book Harvest team and has a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology and Spanish and Linguistics.

Prior to working at Book Harvest, Perry worked in a bookstore, which lead him to become interested in book accessibility. He is hopeful for widespread access to quality books and educational materials. Outside of work, he loves to read, travel, and get outdoors.

Perry’s favorite children’s book is “The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales,” by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Lane Smith

Ranita Anderson is the latest addition to the team and just started in December. Ranita is filling the new role of Data and Evaluation Specialist, a position that will bring a lot to Book Harvest as we seek to intentionally measure our programs and ensure we’re serving children and families to the best of our ability. Ranita will develop strategies to measure progress toward the Book Harvest mission and vision by developing, designing and implementing effective and equitable data collection tools and analyses.

She enjoys camping, hiking, rock climbing, and gardening. Other favorite activities include bread making, jigsaw puzzles, and reading. Her ultimate favorite activity is spending time with her siblings.

Ranita has her Doctorate in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, her Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology from The Ohio State University, and a Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorder from University of Pittsburgh.

Her favorite children’s book is “Cece Loves Science and Adventure” by Kimberly Derting and Shelli R. Johannes, illustrated by Vashti Harrison.

Thank you to Morgan Henderson Photography for taking all of our Book Harvest headshots!