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  • Writer's pictureBenay Hicks

A Special Birthday Surprise

By Monica Belford, Durham County Library Hispanic Services Coordinator and Book Harvest volunteer

Meet Valentin, a first grader in Durham Public Schools, an excellent reader, a book lover, and a faithful Book Harvest volunteer! Two weeks ago, Valentin’s mom and I had the opportunity to surprise him with a special visit at school in honor of his birthday.

With the encouragement of Book Harvest volunteer and DPS ESL Resource Center’s Community Liaison Mercedes McCurley, Valentin and his family began volunteering with Book Harvest last year, coming one Saturday a month to sort and pack books for other students in Durham. His older sister at Early College High School is the one who needed community service hours, but they come as a family, taking the bus every time.

If you show Valentin a book with the Book Harvest sticker on the back, he will proudly tell you, “Oh yeah! I work there. They have great books!”

In honor of his birthday, Valentin’s mom and I brought a box of books for him to share with his class as well as his very own autographed copy of The Hole Story. His mom received high fives from several teachers and office staff for the (very heavy) box of donated books Valentin got to give to his classmates for his birthday. He loved his signed copy of the The Hole Story and the big magnet for his fridge, but he was most excited about seeing his mom carry in the box of books so all his little friends could bring some home with them.

Editor’s note: if you think you recognize Valentin, you’re right! You’ve probably seen him on the cover of our 2015 Impact Report!

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