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  • Writer's pictureBenay Hicks

National Summer Learning Week

Happy readers picking up books at Grab and Go at our Rapid Response Center!

It’s National Summer Learning Week — and we’re celebrating in all sorts of ways at Book Harvest! 

National Summer Learning Week is an annual celebration dedicated to elevating the importance of keeping kids learning, safe, and healthy every summer, ensuring they return to school ready to succeed in the year. With extended school closures and uncertainty about what a return to school will look like this fall, it’s more important than ever to make sure our kids keep reading and learning all summer long. Here are some of the ways we’re keeping learning alive this summer — and ways you and your kids can get involved, too!

Volunteers are ready and waiting with great summer reads for contactless pickup at our Rapid Response Center!

Free books! We are so thrilled that we are once again able to provide books to children in our community. This summer, we’re doing that in two ways: through our Well Fed, Well Read partnership with Durham Public Schools (see the complete list of dates and locations) and through our Grab and Go events at our office, every Monday/Wednesday 1-5 p.m. and Tuesday/Thursday 9 a.m. to 12 noon. More details here.

Book Babies graduation! While we’re not able to celebrate our Book Babies graduates in person this year, we wouldn’t miss the chance to mark this important transition for our young readers. After five years in the program — and reading 100 books each! — our graduates are ready for kindergarten in the fall. Stay tuned: soon we’ll share how we’re celebrating this year’s 29 graduates! 

Get Ready For K events! Parents of Book Babies graduates have been invited to participate in two online kindergarten preparation workshops. These workshops are intended to provide a space for families to connect with one another, share what they are doing with their children to prepare them for kindergarten, and to increase their confidence as they navigate this transition. Want to know more about how our Book Babies families have been keeping learning alive this summer? Check out our “Parent Chats with Wilma” video series!

Cate Elander, Durham County Early Childhood Coordinator, delivers books to a childcare provider.

Book provision at childcare centers! This week, in partnership with Durham County Cooperative Extension, Durham’s Partnership for Children, Durham’s Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, Durham County Library, and Child Care Services Association, we will begin providing books to children at childcare centers. Throughout the rest of the summer, children at ten childcare sites will receive a bag of 10 books each to take home to read with their family members and keep. Our goal is to reach over 500 children with 5,000 books. 

Partnership with NC CAP! The North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs (NC CAP) is a comprehensive statewide afterschool and expanded learning network working together to increase access to high quality afterschool and expanded learning programs for all children and youth in North Carolina, especially for those at risk of education failure. Book Harvest team member Amy Franks is a member NC CAP Advisory Board, and says that “working together with the staff and other board members to facilitate building and growing a network of people across the state to share in and work toward the vision of a North Carolina where all students and their families have the support, information, tools, and connections they need to ensure they thrive socially, emotionally, and academically is a highlight in my career.” NC CAP has created a wealth of resources for parents and educators who are working to keep learning alive this summer, and beginning this week, we’ll be sharing their great activity tips weekly on our Instagram account. Check out the first tip this week, and check out all the resources NC CAP has to offer.

Do you have questions about how to keep your kids learning during National Summer Learning Week and all summer long? Reach out to us at and let us know how we can help!

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