Book Harvest provides an abundance of books and ongoing literacy support to families and their children from birth and serves as a model for communities committed to ensuring that children are lifelong readers and learners.
Our vision is of a world in which reading, learning, and access to information are considered rights, not privileges, so that all children thrive.
Our core values have shaped Book Harvest since inception and are the foundation upon which the organization’s mission, vision, strategies, and tactics are built.
1. All children have the right to own books from birth.
Books are essential to the well-being and healthy development of children. Books, readily available and in abundance, are vital to school readiness, academic success, and lifelong learning.
2. Parents know what is best for their children and are passionately committed to their success.
Parents are their child’s first and most important brain-builders and have the power to ignite and sustain their children’s literacy development from birth. We will meet parents where they are to support them in realizing their goals for their children.
3. All children are born with the ability to succeed.
When we provide the tools and support ALL children deserve, foster their roles as active participants in their own literacy journeys, and honor their inherent brilliance, we are laying the groundwork for productive and meaningful lives.
4. Books must serve as “mirrors, windows and sliding glass doors” for all children.
Books must portray all children, honoring diverse backgrounds, languages, abilities, and perspectives, and include stories by and about people of color.
5. We CAN create the world our children deserve.
We believe in the capacity of collective goodness and collective action to transform the eco-system currently failing America’s children and create a more equitable world.
6. We are committed to research.
Continuous self-assessment, including rigorous external evaluation, is essential to identifying best practices as we expand our efforts to rewrite outcomes.
Our Guiding Principles
Book Harvest is an organization that aspires to rewrite literacy experiences and outcomes, ensuring that all children can feast at the table of words and vocabulary from birth; we believe this is a necessary precondition for flourishing.
In doing this work, our team is guided by these unwavering internal principles.
We are passionate about helping children and families have what they need to thrive.
We are mission driven.
Our Theory of Change
We provide families with ongoing access to literacy resources and support…
We start at birth and partner with families throughout their child’s first decade.
We meet families where they are.
We provide lots of culturally diverse books and plentiful resources.
We embrace everyone in our community.
We hold an unshakable commitment to justice, equity, and equal opportunity for all people.
We focus on evaluation and continuous improvement.
We have a strong organization.
We expand our program models statewide and nationwide.
We have big dreams.
We contribute to a world in which all children can thrive in school and in life.
Book Harvest Supports “Let Freedom Read!”
Statement Issued in Conjunction with 2023 Banned Books Week
At the launch of Banned Books Week 2023 (October 1 -7), Book Harvest joins the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom and the dozens of national organizations coming together to lift up our shared clarion call: “Let Freedom Read!”
Book Harvest’s mission is to foster every child’s lifelong love of reading and learning by providing an abundance of books and ongoing literacy support to children and families, starting at birth. Our work is fueled by our belief in the transformative power of books to build brains, spark imagination, foster joy and belonging, and contribute to healthy communities in which every child can flourish.
Book Harvest is devoted to providing unfettered access to an abundance of books for children and families everywhere they go – in laundromats and doctors’ offices, at parks, and in other public gathering locations. When children and families have the opportunity to select their own books and build home libraries, they develop a self-determined habit of shared reading that ensures a lifetime of literacy, an identity as a reader, and a love of reading.
Book Harvest is deeply troubled by the recent wave of book bans and challenges to book access in public schools and libraries in our home state of North Carolina and across the country. These restrictions – especially those that limit access to books for children by and/or about people of color and LGBTQIA+ communities – are a perilous threat to diverse perspectives and ideas, and they stifle the free exchange of knowledge.
Book Harvest joins the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom and the dozens of national organizations coming together to lift up our shared clarion call: Let Freedom Read! We are active members of the Diverse Books for All Coalition and Unite Against Book Ban Campaign.
Book Harvest is resolute in our commitment to everyone’s right to read, and to read what they want. We stand by these essential principles that guide our work:
We believe that abundant access to diverse and inclusive children’s books plays an essential role in healthy childhood development, flourishing communities, and a thriving democracy.
We believe books should serve as mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors so that children see themselves and worlds beyond their own in the stories they read; this expansive view equips them to build self-confidence, empathy, and understanding.
We celebrate families reading and learning together, and we trust every parent’s ability to make the best decisions for their own children.
Book Harvest provides books for every child, support for every parent, and literacy for every community. With our valued partners in North Carolina and across the United States, we champion the transformative power of books and the value of a diverse literary landscape, one in which every child, young person, and adult has the opportunity to learn, grow, and experience the immense joy of books, stories, words, and ideas from a rich and diverse tapestry of perspectives and identities.
 Rudine Sims Bishop, “Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors,” Perspectives: Choosing and Using Books for the Classroom 6, no. 3 (Summer 1990).