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  • Writer's pictureBenay Hicks

Our Team is Growing!

We have recently welcomed several new team members at Book Harvest! Here’s an introduction from each team member in her own words:


Amy Franks, Education Partnerships Manager

Amy is a former language arts teacher with more than 20 years of experience working with children and youth, primarily in school-based after-school programs. She is the mother of one, an aspiring actress daughter, “A’Jayy,” and she is the human companion to a Lynx Point Siamese cat aptly named Fancy. In her leisure time Amy enjoys restoring old furniture, cooking, dancing, lingering in the library, going to the movies, and doing intense circuit training. She loves all things local, especially restaurants and vintage clothing stores, and she has a knack for finding off-the-beaten-path things to do and places to see. Inspired by the many worlds she has experienced through books, Amy believes life isn’t to be lived on the sidelines and a vacation isn’t a vacation without sunglasses, a good book, and a little adventure. So far, her adventures include ziplining, parasailing, snorkeling, and kayaking. She hopes to add skydiving to the list soon, and she has a not-so-secret dream of one day joining the Bull City Roller Derby team. For now she is content with creating hero stories to share with her young nieces and nephew who are a very appreciative audience.


Katherin Castillo, Pre-K/K Parent Navigator, Book Babies

Hello everyone! My name is Katherin Castillo and I am the Pre-k/K parent navigator for Book Babies! A little bit about me is that I graduated from Appalachian State last May with a Criminal Justice degree! My undergraduate research focused on working with youth and learning more about prevention strategies and early intervention. I am currently the AmeriCorps VISTA for the America Reads America Counts program at Duke University as well! So I try to keep myself busy! In my spare time I like to hang out with friends in Raleigh and I like to travel to see my family and 2 year old dog in Mount Airy (home of the Andy Griffith show). Since I am now a part of the Book Harvest community, fun fact is that my favorite children’s book is “ If you give a mouse a cookie” by Laura Numeroff. I have been in Durham for the past 8 months and I have learned to love this city and the many things it has to offer! From living in Mount Airy to Boone to now the Raleigh/Durham area, I am excited to see what experiences I will have here!


Maria Alejandra Garcia, Parent Partner, Book Babies

My name is Maria Alejandra Garcia. I am from Venezuela. I have been married to my husband for eight years and we have three children. I am a Mechanical Engineer of profession with 17 years of experience. My best hobby is spending time with my family. We like to go to the movies and the beach.



Jessica Blackwell, Parent Partner, Book Babies

Hello! My name is Jessica Blackwell, and I am from Durham, North Carolina. I have lived here all of my life! I have been married to my husband, Brian, for ten years. We have a huge family that includes 11 children. I have been in the field of biomedical research for 16 years. I have a Master’s in Public Administration, B.A. in Political Science and B.S. in Family and Consumer Science with a concentration in Child Development and Family Relations all from North Carolina Central University. Go Eagles! I also have a certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke’s Center for Continuing Studies. I am passionate about education, children and helping others. In my spare time I love to travel; I especially love cruising. I am elated to be a part of the Book Harvest family.

Welcome, Amy, Katherin, Maria, and Jessica!

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