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  • Writer's pictureBenay Hicks

Books on Break program offers books during summer break to Haywood County students

The Mountaineer

March 26, 2024

More than 3,000 students in eight elementary schools in Haywood County will be gifted a home library of 10 new books each when school is let out for the summer.

The books are being provided to Haywood County Schools by the nonprofit Book Harvest through its ‘Books on Break’ program.

The program, rooted in joy and abundance, enables students to select 10 new books — free of charge — to add to their home libraries and practice their reading with over the summer. Students are invited to select their books from a wide array of new high-interest and high-quality titles.

They each additionally receive a new string backpack to take their selections home. These backpacks are preloaded with resources and information for parents.

“By placing books directly into the hands of our young learners, we’re not just fostering a love for reading, but also empowering them to continue their educational journey beyond the classroom,”said Charly Inman with Haywood County Schools.

Haywood County Schools administrators and teachers were delighted by news of the program.

“Empowering our students with the gift of knowledge, our school district is thrilled to introduce a groundbreaking program offering students the opportunity to select 10 books to keep over the summer,” said Inman. “This initiative embodies our commitment to combating summer learning loss by ensuring students have access to enriching literature year-round.”

Books on Break was first launched in 2012 by nonprofit Book Harvest in Durham Public Schools. Since that time, North Carolina elementary school students have harvested more than 500,000 books to read over the summer and to keep forever.

“We at Book Harvest are excited to be reaching every elementary school student in Haywood County with Books on Break, and we are grateful for the partnership with Haywood County Schools that makes this possible,” said Rachel Stine, Book Harvest’s Senior Director of New Site Development. “Books on Break is a vital complement to the essential work Haywood educators are doing all year long to help students learn to reach and practice their reading and, along the way, develop an enduring love of reading. And evidence shows that simply having access to books in the summer over three consecutive summers can cut summer learning loss by half or more.”



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