October 26, 2022 | By Monica Casey, WRAL Durham reporter
Durham non-profit Book Harvest receives ARPA funding to expand its reach
DURHAM, N.C. — Durham-based non-profit Book Harvest provides new and used books in “book boxes” around the city. New federal funding means they’ll be able to expand their reach, adding more than 60 new boxes.
The non-profit has 14 boxes throughout Durham, but over the next three years, they’ll add four times that number.
Durham City Council voted to allocate more than $340,000 for new boxes and books.
“People in the community know Durham as the City of Medicine, and what we are hoping to do is make it the City of Books,” explained Durham Book Harvest Executive Director Tabitha Blackwell.
Blackwell said the non-profit wants to meet families where they are. Book Harvest recently conducted a survey.
“We found that 94% of the parents that were going to these book boxes actually were returning and coming more often to the book boxes,” Blackwell said.
The non-profit works with families from birth, connecting a love of reading to language development.
“We want to be able to impact that 3rd grade reading level, and one of the best ways to do that is starting earlier within a child’s life,” Blackwell said.