Ginger Young believes that innovation is vital to solving our society’s most intractable challenges. In 2011, frustrated by the disconnect between what we know (books in the home are an essential part of a healthy childhood; parents are the key to kids’ success) and what we are doing with that knowledge (not enough), she founded Book Harvest. Since then, children and families in central North Carolina have harvested more than 1,000,000 donated books to take home and keep for their very own, building home libraries. Her dream: that every child grow up in a home that is brimming with books and go to sleep each night enjoying a bedtime story with a parent.
In her role as Executive Director of Book Harvest, Ginger is involved with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and its Supporting Parent Success Initiative. She serves on the National Advisory Board of the international social enterprise First Book. She is a member of the Board of Directors of The Hill Learning Center, an organization committed to transforming students with learning differences into confident, independent learners. Ginger graduated from Harvard College in 1984 and received her MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in 1990. She is the mom of three avid readers.
“The whole world opened to me when I learned to read.” — Mary McLeod Bethune
Victoria believes that once you have education, nobody can take it away from you — and that’s why she joined the Book Harvest team in 2017. When she’s not working, you can find her gardening, swimming, or hiking.
“Let everyone rise and let no one be left behind/Que todos de se levanten que nadie se quede atras.” –Pop Wuj., Mayan Sacred Book
Caitlyn has been working at Book Harvest since 2019. She believes that the work we are doing is more than just building book-rich homes and communities; we are creating a more empathetic and compassionate generation by empowering our young people with the tools they need to shape a better, brighter future for all of us. When she’s not working, you can find her spending time with friends and family, exploring local restaurants and breweries, and curling up with a good book and her calico cat, Frankie.
“Show me a family of readers, and I will show you the people who move the world.” — Napoléon Bonaparte.
Wilma joined the Book Harvest team in 2019 because she is passionate about cultivating a love of reading and learning in young children. When she’s not working, Wilma likes to read new and old books, light candles, go on long walks with her dog, play with her daughter, and cook with her family.
“A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.” –Madeleine L’Engle
Books have been an important part of Paula’s life since childhood, and getting to share that love with the community is one of the many reasons she joined the Book Harvest team in 2018. When she isn’t working, you’ll find Paula reading — of course — traveling and trying yummy food in the process, dancing, listening to music, or cooking with friends.
The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” –Dr. Seuss
Isabel has worked at Book Harvest since 2016, when she joined the team because of her admiration for Founder and Executive Director Ginger Young. Her hobbies include cooking, gardening, community activism, and service to other non-profits focused on at-risk youth. She serves as Board Chair for Boomerang Youth, Co-Chapter Director for Neighbors on Call, and as a volunteer for Judea Reform Congregation.
Temika joined the Book Harvest team in 2020 because she is committed to providing families with the resource of literacy, helping create a true path to equity and opportunity. She is also a member of the National Association of Social Workers. When she’s not working, you’ll find Temika spending time at the beach, traveling, and enjoying time with family.
“Books are mirrors to our world and windows to opportunity; but they are also much more: they are actual doors to a life of sustainability and success, to our lives, and each of us has a responsibility to walk through them.” – Kwame Alexander
Kate joined the Book Harvest team in 2019 because she gets to do good work in the community, surrounded by great people. When she’s not working, she likes to get outdoors, garden, play with her kids and husband, cook, knit, and even get crafty every once in a while.
“… what you learn today, for no reason at all, will help you discover all the wonderful secrets of tomorrow.” ― The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster
Rachel believes in the power of reading to transform educational outcomes for children and loves working with her dedicated and passionate colleagues at Book Harvest, which she has done since 2015. When she’s not working, she loves hanging out with her family, going on walks with friends, and eating good food at one of Durham’s restaurants.
“A word after a word after a word is power.” ― Margaret Atwood
Charlia’s love of books was instilled at an early age, and she wants to share the adventures and excitement books can provide with children in our community and beyond. She has worked at Book Harvest since 2016, and when she’s not working, she’s usually doing something outdoors — like gardening, hiking Little River Park, or playing with her two dogs — or cooking or reading.
“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.” —Anna Quindlen
Books have always been an important part of Kenitra’s life, and she loves the opportunity to share the joy of books with families. She has been a member of the Book Harvest team since 2015. When she’s not working, you can find Kenitra reading, listening to music, and spending time with her family.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” –Mahatma Gandhi