Book Harvest is a new Triangle initiative to collect gently used children's books and to place them into the hands and homes of children who need them.
Time and time again, studies demonstrate the tremendous power of books on the lives of children. The data show, for example, that the single biggest predictor of academic success is not race, income, gender, parents’ education, or geographic location; it is the presence of books in the home. Yet many children in the Triangle have no books.
Studies also show that the achievement gap that exists between lower-income and higher-income kids can be narrowed or even closed simply by giving books to low-income kids. A study published this year demonstrated that just a dozen books selected by the child, at a total cost of about $50, can achieve the same improvements in school performance as $3,000 worth of summer school.
At the same time that some local children have no books, others have home libraries that are overflowing, often with books they have outgrown. Book Harvest will target this largely untapped resource by conducting book drives in a variety of venues around the Triangle; we will collect gently used children’s books and will work with nonprofit partners to distribute the donated books directly to children who need them.
The emphasis will be on enabling the children to select the books themselves, so that they are building home libraries they are excited about and they begin for the first time to view themselves as readers.
Until every child in the Triangle has a home library of books
that she or he has selected, our job is not done.
How YOU Can Help
1. Run a book drive in your neighborhood!
If your neighborhood has a listserv, running a book drive is easy and quick! Schedule a date to collect the books. Send an email to everyone a week before the chosen date, asking them to gather the children’s books they no longer need. The day before the date, send them a reminder email, asking them to leave the books out on their front porch the next morning. Collect the books and bring them to Book Harvest. That’s it! We will supply you with the email language; you simply have to email it to your neighborhood list.
2. Run a book drive at your child’s independent school!
Book Harvest will work with you to make it easy to run a book drive at your child’s school; we will provide the collection bins, signs, and language to publicize the drive in school newsletters. You supply the volunteers. Many schools have service requirements for their students, and a book drive may be the perfect way to help them fulfill these requirements. A campus-wide book drive is a terrific morale booster and can help education children about literacy needs right in their own community.
3. Donate your own gently used children’s books!
If you have gently used books at home that your kids have outgrown, don’t wait for a book drive to donate them. Contact Book Harvest to arrange to drop them off or have them picked up now. The sooner Book Harvest receives book donations, the sooner the books will end up in new homes.
4. Help us distribute the donated books to kids who need them!
If your nonprofit organization, afterschool program, or community center is able to distribute books to children who need them, please let us know. We have two requirements for our distribution partners:
· that the books be given to the kids for free; and
· that the kids be able to select their own books.
We will work with you to set up and organize bookshelves in your location and to keep them stocked -- or to do whatever else is needed to get books into the hands and homes of kids.
Remember that many people are grateful for the opportunity to clear their cluttered shelves of books they have outgrown and to give those books a second life with a child who needs them.
Collection Partners – in progress
These are the locations where book donation bins will be placed.
· Ginger Young Gallery, Chapel Hill – annual holiday sale, Dec. 4 and 5
· Outsiders Art Gallery, Durham – Dec. 10 event “Where the Wild Things Are”
· Guglhupf Bakery and Café, Durham – Dec. 11 Christmas Market
· Carolina Friends School – January 2011, leading up to its MLK Day Celebration
Distribution Partners—in progress
These are the organizations with which we will work to enable children who lack books to select their own books to keep; we anticipate the first shelves will be stocked in January 2011.
· Human Rights Center After-School Program, Carrboro
· Interfaith Council for Social Service, Chapel Hill and Carrboro
· Read Seed, Durham
· Rogers-Eubanks Neighborhood Association, Chapel Hill
To learn more, to donate books, to organize a school or neighborhood book drive, to request books for your organization, or to volunteer with Book Harvest, please contact Ginger Young at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (919) 932 6158; or visit http://www.bookharvestnc.blogspot.com/
Last updated 12/08/10