Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

With goal to distribute 75,000 books, Book Harvest seeks children's book donations

Posted June 2, 2020 9:00 p.m. EDT

Book Harvest donation

Traditional efforts — like summer reading programs and storytimes — could be difficult this summer with social distancing guidelines. But Durham-based Book Harvest is working to ensure that thousands of kids keep reading this summer, so they're reading to keep learning when school opens.

The local nonprofit launched its Rapid Response Summer Strategy this week by opening the doors of a temporary 6,000-square-foot Rapid Response Center next to its headquarters at 2501 University Drive in Durham’s Rockwood Shopping Center, according to a press release. Inside the center, Book Harvest leaders plan on providing a whopping 75,000 books to Durham children by the end of August.

“COVID-related school and library closures have made the imperative to get books into the hands of kids across Durham more important than ever,” said Assistant Principal Greg Mitchell of Club Boulevard Elementary School in the press release.

Book Harvest seeks to get books into the hands of children who otherwise wouldn't have them at home. For this summer's programs, it has partnered with Durham’s Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, Durham Public Schools, First Book, and United Way of the Greater Triangle.

While adhering to safety protocols, Book Harvest staff and volunteers will gather bags filled with age-appropriate, diverse and inclusive new and gently used children's books to families at the Rapid Response Center, at Durham Public Schools' food provision locations and at scheduled grab-and-go food locations all summer.

“This effort can’t wait another day,” said Book Harvest Board Chair Tabitha Blackwell in the release. “Access to books is fundamental to keeping learning alive for every child. With schools already closed for so many weeks and with the long stretch of summer ahead of us, we need to make sure all our families have the educational tools they need – and that means books. With the support of our community, we will help thousands of children build and grow home libraries this summer, fueling their imaginations and helping bridge the summer gap until they can return to school.”

How can you help? They need your books and support. Book Harvest's book donation bin sits outside its office at 2501 University Drive and is available for donations 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More information is on Book Harvest's website.