Book Harvest is a non-profit organization whose mission is to “provide an abundance of books and ongoing literacy support to families and their children from birth and serve as a model for communities committed to ensuring that children are lifelong readers and learners.”
For over 8 years Book Harvest has been striving to give every child access to reading and learning through their four programs: Book Babies, Books on Break, Books to Go, and Community Book Bank.
About Book Harvest
Ginger Young founded Book Harvest in 2011 with the mission to help every child gain access to books and reading skills. In the first month after opening, Ginger and Book Harvest collected 10,000 books that she kept in her garage in Chapel Hill, NC. Ginger is the Executive Director of Book Harvest today.
Book Harvest places a particular emphasis on building home libraries for children from low-income families, as there is a link between poverty and poor academic outcomes. Their mission is to level the playing field when it comes to academics and socio-economic status. Reading is essential to fight this problem as it builds confidence, expands horizons, and helps create future readers!
Book Harvest provides a variety of popular (and bilingual) books (approximately 1.053,369 to date) to children from birth to the end of high school.
They achieve their mission through four main programs:
Book Babies (263 Families)
From the very start of an infant’s life Book Harvest is there for your little one. Two or three times a year a home visitor with a background in education or social work will come and bring up to 10 brand new books to your house. Each family gets to keep these books. The goal is to have a home library for your child of 100 books by the time that they are in Kindergarten.
The focus of this program is to build relationships with the families over the first 5 years of your child’s life. They love to stay in touch with the families and offer other programs like a parent book club and library celebrations to promote library card sign-ups.
Books on Break (45 Schools)
The time to focus on summer reading for children starts with elementary school. Book Harvest partners with schools in April/May to have a free book fair for the kids, with some schools even hosting this annually.
They supply hundreds to thousands of books to schools each year, the amount depending on each school's need.
Books to Go (87 Educators and 43 Schools/Organizations)
Several times each year, Book Harvest opens their warehouse to allow teachers to come and find books that they know their kids would love to read. Each book is given to the kids to keep. All books in the warehouse are free and there is no limit to the number of books that can be taken. Afterwards, the teachers are free to come up with many unique and creative ways to give away the books to their students in the school.
Community Book Bank (84 Organizations)
Book Harvest’s largest program today is their Community Book Bank. Through this program they donate books to community members and organizations serving children from low-income families. Organizations range from doctors’ offices and day cares to laundromats and barbershops.
The Community Book Bank partners with organizations and offers free bookshelves in lobbies and waiting areas, book tables at community events, and other mechanisms. They make sure that children and families who are taking advantage of services offered by these partner organizations also have access to free books anytime they visit that partner organization. Book Harvest refills the books as needed, with no questions asked and no charge to the host organization. They also host giveaways at events like family literacy night or parent teacher conferences.
About Daniele Berman
Daniele Berman is one of the amazing staff members at Book Harvest. Daniele’s strong and kind demeanor makes her the perfect Communications and Events Manager! She is responsible for managing all of the communications and a robust calendar of special events.
Daniele’s children follow in their mom's footsteps by volunteering, and by being ambassadors for Book Harvest. Daniele not only influences her own children, but also the lives of anyone she meets!
“It is a particular kind of pride as a mother and a staff member to see your own child’s life changed alongside the lives of the children your organization serves.”
Platypus Media and Book Harvest
How You Can Help
If you have new or gently used children’s books you’d like to donate, please drop them in the Book Harvest bins at any of these locations. You can also buy books from their Amazon wishlist and have them shipped directly to their office!