Turning Pages: A Summer Celebration of Reading Together

May 19, 2022 | By Benay Hicks

There is no time like summertime at Book Harvest! While our team works hard to provide books and literacy support year-round, summer is the ultimate season of book access. Through signature programs and events, new initiatives, and community partnerships, we are passionate in our commitment to keep learning alive all summer long and to promote literacy-rich interactions at home and in the community, especially following on the unique challenges of the 2021-22 academic year.

This summer, we have an exciting goal of providing youth with 100,000 books! We can’t wait for the pages of those books to be turned by kids all across our community.

The journey to 100,000 books has already begun with the start of our Books on Break program, which ensures that all 14,092 K-5 students in Durham Public Schools take books home at the end of the school year to read over the summer break and keep forever. That’s a total of 67,635 books! Books on Break will also take place in Bladen and Columbus Counties this year. In Bladen, all 60 PK-4 students from East Arcadia Elementary will select and take home a total of 600 books. In Columbus, all 208 PK-3 students from Hallsboro Artesia Elementary will select and take home 2080 books.

The Books on Break TOTAL among the three counties: 14,360 students will take home 70,315 books!

The height of the summer will feature Book Harvest’s annual Block Party! This year’s event will take place in the concourse of the Durham Bulls Athletic Park on July 16 from 1-4 PM. There will be free, culturally-inclusive children’s books for kids to take home and keep, plus additional activities and fun for the whole family! Book Harvest will be joined by dozens of beloved community partners including The Poetry Fox, Batala Durham, and the Museum of Life and Science. There is no cost to attend the event; free parking is available throughout American Tobacco Campus. The first 300 people will get a free bucket of popcorn and Wegmans Chapel Hill will be providing 1,000 free cupcakes! We can’t wait!

Throughout the summer months, Book Harvest will partner with several Durham County Library branches to provide books, install more Book Boxes, and celebrate 51 Book Babies graduates with a graduation ceremony and plenty of books! And — as long as COVID doesn’t alter our plans — we have a big announcement coming soon! Our team has been hard at work and can’t wait to share more…

All-in-all, this summer is a summer to celebrate books and learning! We are going to do our part to maintain those schoolyear gains and keep learning alive. We hope you will join us on our journey to 100,000 books by harvesting books for your family, attending our events, and donating books and funds to help children turn pages this summer.