Give a book to a child living in the most precarious conditions and introducing them to the joys of reading can be a transformative and life-changing experience.
A literate child will eventually learn: the world is certainly bigger than his head, but what is in his head can be so much bigger than the world around him.
Next week on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Durham’s nonprofit book drive will host its aptly named “Dream Big Book Drive and Community Celebration” in the downtown area.
Book Harvest is located in the Rockwood neighborhood of the city. For more than a decade, the association has provided books to children and families who need them to promote lifelong literacy and academic success.
Book Harvest was founded in 2011 by Ginger Young with what she describes on the nonprofit organization’s website as “a dusty, crowded garage full of donated books” in her Chapel Hill home.
In early 2012, Book Harvest became a non-profit organization and this modest opening chapter with donated books and “a handful of eccentric dreamers” turned a leaf with offices in the Rockwood District on University Drive.
By 2020, the association had hundreds of volunteers, dozens of distribution partners and had received more than 1.3 million pounds donated by the community.
“At the moment, we are focusing on Durham,” said Benay Hicks, communications manager for Book Harvest, at the INDY this week. “But for our second decade, we’re looking to serve as many people as possible in Durham and across North Carolina.”
Young says she started the nonprofit with the dream of every child in the community growing up with books – and in abundance.
“I loved reading as a kid and wanted all kids to have that joy,” Young says. “Children who grow up with books do better in school than children who don’t.
“Simply put: Books build brains. “
Book Harvest’s 11th Annual Literature and Entertainment Day will be held in Durham Central Park from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
In the spirit of the MLK Day service theme, community members are invited to donate new and lightly used children’s books to Dream Big. All donated books will be provided to children in Durham and beyond through Book Harvest’s book access and literacy initiatives, according to a press release from the association.
Celebration seekers can snack on free Mad Popper popcorn, read and listen to poems written in real time by the Poetry Fox, and rub shoulders with the Wool E. Bull of the Durham Bulls and other well-known mascots. Beginner book lovers can also indulge their inner artist with crafts and activities courtesy of Scrap Exchange, watch a performance by the Bouncing Bulldogs skipping team, and bite into some hot donuts from Mr. A’s Donuts. All participants will also receive new backpacks filled with children’s books free of charge.
The event is entirely outdoors; masks are compulsory.
The organizers of Dream Big, concerned about safety protocols in the event of a pandemic, are also offering a drive-thru route for families interested in making a contactless contribution to the cause of promoting children’s literacy. Bull City Bookworms can also drive by to receive a free bag of children’s books.
According to the Book Harvest statement, 70 Book Drive Captains across the Triangle have signed up to host Dream Big Book drives in their neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, congregations and civic groups, to honor the legacy. of Dr. King’s service.
Learn more about the event here.
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