top of page
  • Writer's pictureBenay Hicks



Signature ‘Books on Break’ Program Makes In-Person Return

June 15, 2022, Durham, NC Book Harvest successfully wrapped up its 2022 Books on Break program, providing 14,360 students with 70,315 books in 32 public elementary schools. Returning to in-person book selection after two years of pandemic modifications, Books on Break ran from May 16 through June 8, reaching every student in all 30 elementary schools in Durham Public Schools, along with two schools in Columbus and Bladen Counties.

Launched in 2012, Books on Break is a beloved and joyful tradition that helps keep learning alive over the summer months. Students are invited to select books from a wide array of diverse and high-interest titles, including brand new picture books, graphic novels, and books in Spanish; students take these books home to read over the summer and keep forever, building home libraries.

“By providing children with the opportunity to choose books they are excited about, we are encouraging self-directed learning over the summer and beyond,” said Book Harvest Durham Executive Director Tabitha Blackwell. “We are especially proud that Books on Break is system-wide in our home community; elementary school students in Durham Public Schools can count on having books to nourish their love of reading over the summer.”

Teachers, parents, and children were elated by the selection of high quality, culturally inclusive books. Ursula Wooten, principal at East Arcadia Elementary School in Hallsboro, NC, expressed her gratitude: “Thank you for giving our students quality books with characters who look like them...” Riccy, a fourth grade student at Glenn Elementary School in Durham wrote, “Thank you for all the books. The books were very interesting! Everything you did for us today was amazing.”

The 2022 Books on Break program was made possible by generous contributions from the Bastian Family Charitable Foundation, Butler Family Foundation, Carolina Hurricanes, Duke Energy Foundation, F.M. Kirby Foundation, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Oak Foundation, Participate Learning, The Grable Foundation, The Leon Levine Foundation, William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, Triangle Community Foundation, United Way of the Greater Triangle, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, and many individual supporters.

“Thank you for all the books. I LOVE books so much because they are like a pordle to another wold. When I read books its like my mind gose into the pordle and its like I’m not even reading the book. It turns into a move and my mind is going into a different world. I can’t wait to read all each and every 10 of these book I got. And I can’t wait to find out what kind of worlds the books lead me into. Book are amazing and are a part of my life. That’s why I’m so greatful for these book. I love them. And even if I finish reading all the book I will reread over and over again. Giselle”

About Book Harvest:

Book Harvest is a nationally recognized, award-winning nonprofit organization, which has provided more than 1.8 million books to North Carolina children since 2011. Book Harvest provides an abundance of books and ongoing literacy support to families and their children from birth. Their vision is of a world in which reading, learning, and access to information are considered rights, not privileges, so that all children thrive. Learn more at


Press Release_Book Harvest's Books on Break Provides Over 70,000 Books
Download PDF • 835KB


bottom of page