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  • Writer's pictureBenay Hicks

Reimagining Summer

By Rachel Stine, Program Director

There are eleven weeks of summer break. Eleven weeks that contribute to the income-based learning gap that exists between children who have access to a vast array of learning opportunities and those who face barriers to these same experiences. By meeting families and children where they are — in schools, laundromats, health clinics, and homes — and providing books to keep children’s brains engaged in learning all summer long, we are reimagining those eleven weeks as a time of learning, growing, and thriving for all children in our community.

And we start this Saturday, May 18, when we will join other organizations in our community to participate in Triangle Learning Days! These events highlight the importance of making “learning by doing accessible to any eager learner in the Triangle.” Our featured event is Wash & Learn Durham!

Here is what we have planned for the rest of summer 2019:

Books on Break — happening now! 16,360 students will select 84,278 books during Books on Break in Durham, Chapel-Hill Carrboro City Schools and, new this year, in Bladen and Columbus counties! Students take these books home to read all summer long and keep forever.

Book Babies Graduation — June 8 29 five-year-olds and their families will graduate from our Book Babies program and will continue to prepare for kindergarten over the summer reading the books they select at graduation and completing “getting ready for kindergarten” activities.

Home Visiting — throughout the summer Our Book Babies team will complete 163 literacy-rich home visits with and provide over 1,630 books to families enrolled in our Book Babies program.

Storytimes — throughout the summer We will conduct 28 storytimes, 22 at two different laundromats through Wash & Learn Durham, and six with Book Babies families at the W.G. Pearson Center.

Community Book Bank — throughout the summer Children and families will select approximately 17,600 books at various Community Book Bank sites, including DM Barbershop, Lincoln Community Health Center, Latino Community Credit Union, and The Wash House Laundromats.

Read-A-Palooza Summer Learning Block Party — July 12 Our gigantic Read-A-Palooza Summer Learning Block Party will be held July 12th from 4 to 6 p.m. at the W.G. Pearson Center in celebration of National Summer Learning Week. Children and families are invited to select books, participate in games and activities, meet Clifford the Big Red Dog and Dogman, eat popsicles, and hang out with their neighbors! This event is sponsored by Durham’s Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.

National Night Out — August 6 Children in more than 10 neighborhoods will have the opportunity to select books during their neighborhoods’ National Night Out celebrations.

Interns from Student U — June 24 – July 25 Two high school students from Student U will spend 5 weeks with us getting to know our organization and staff. We can’t wait to learn from them!

Books to Go — August Teachers and nonprofit providers will select approximately 8,000 books through our Books to Go program.

And our office is open all summer long! Children and families are invited to visit our office at 2501 University Drive, Durham (in the Rockwood Shopping Center) anytime Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to select free books to take home and keep forever!

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