Books on Break

Books on Break

Y.E. Smith Elementary students filled backpacks with 4,500 books to take home and keep thanks to Book Harvest and Durham Rotary Club

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Books on Break Photo 2Y.E. Smith Elementary Museum School recently hosted its second annual Books on Break pop-up event, which allows elementary-aged children on free- and reduced-lunch plans in schools in Durham, Chapel Hill and Carrboro to take home 10 books of their choosing. The three-day summer reading event is a signature program of Book Harvest, a nonprofit that collects donated books and uses them to combat summer learning loss among low-income children.

“By providing plenty of books during the vulnerable long weeks of summer, we’re pushing back hard against summer reading loss,” says Ginger Young, founder of Book Harvest.

Books on Break PhotoThe Durham Rotary Club served as Book Harvest’s service partner for the event, recruiting 53 volunteers from Rotary, Book Harvest, Duke Corporate Education, the Y.E. Smith parent population and local business community. Volunteers who staffed Books on Break logged 145 hours of service, acting as personal shoppers to the students as they selected their books. “Students from Y.E. Smith are taking home nearly 5,000 books to enjoy this summer,” Ginger says. “Our partnership with Rotary is making it possible to maintain hard-won classroom gains.”