Bright Spots of Summer

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By Rachel Stine, Partnerships Manager, and Daniele Berman, Operations Manager

Although it is still so hot outside, believe it or not, summer is coming to an end! This week we’d like to give you a wrap up of our Bright Spots of Summer and share with you how we have been working with partners in our community to keep kids learning all summer long.

  • We kicked off the summer with 9,057 students from 26 elementary schools selecting books to take home for the summer through our Books on Break and Books on Break Toolkit programs. We could not do this work without the wonderful help of our partners. Learn more about Books on Break 2016 in our final report.
  • We also made sure middle and high school students started the summer with lots of books, distributing over 6,000 books to dozens of educators and community partners in May through our Books to Go for Tweens and Teens event.
  • Food for the Summer has provided over 41,000 lunches for children from food-insecure families in Chapel Hill and Carrboro throughout the summer. Each Wednesday, the children also had the opportunity to choose books to read while they ate and take home to keep. Over 3,000 books have found their way to new homes with children during these lunch breaks this summer.
  • Through READ2ME: Tailgate Stories, teachers from Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools shared the joy of reading and book ownership with children in 22 different neighborhoods. Children listened to stories read to them by their teachers in their own neighborhoods and selected books to read and keep.
  • Bring a Book Night at the Durham Bulls was a home run this year! Over 1200 books were donated in exchange for a free ticket to a July game.
  • Students attending a Read to Achieve Camp at Parkwood celebrated their hard work on the last day with a celebration of books, writing cards, and a visit from the Durham County Library Bookmobile.
  • On August 2, we participated in three neighborhood National Night Out celebrations in Durham. Children joyfully selected books and received summer literacy backpacks provided by United Way of the Greater Triangle.
  • Our friends at UNC-TV collected 299 books for our programs, and Read-A-Roo, UNC-TV Kids’ mascot, delivered them in person, sharing them with some children from our Book Babies program gathered at our office. You can read more about this partnership in this coming Sunday’s Durham Herald-Sun.
  • Our year-round partnership with PORCH-Chapel Hill-Carrboro always peaks during the summer, when children are out of school and eager to select books while their parents pick up their food. In all, children selected nearly a thousand books at PORCH distributions this summer.
  • EDCI’s Summer Lunch program provided over 300 children with free lunch and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) related programming. Children were able to continue their learning journey through selecting books provided by Book Harvest during enrichment activities and community events.
  • Durham County Library held the lunchtime adventures program in the Main Library and served 100 children lunch daily from June 20th thru Aug. 12th. The children were read stories and participated in various craft and music activities. We were delighted to be a guest reader for the day.
  • Our Book Babies families came together on a Saturday morning this summer to celebrate at the Stanford L. Warren Branch Library. Food, music, and, of course, books were all part of this fun event.
  • All summer long children and families have been visiting our office as well as our dozens of Community Book Bank sites to pick out more books to read. Favorites include Amelia Bedelia, Pete the Cat, Junie B. Jones, and you guessed it, Diary of a Wimpy Kid. When asked why she enjoys reading in the summer with her children, one mom replied, “It’s making memories.”

As we look back on all of these bright spots of summer, it is our hope that many families made memories through the sharing of books. Thank you to all of our wonderful partners for supporting the children and families in our community. Here’s to a great school year!