Tag Archives: Books on Break

FOCPL Contributes to Books on Break to Promote Summer Reading

IMG_2918Book Harvest recently gave thousands of books to a thrilled cohort of elementary-school students at a Books on Break event. The Friends of the Orange County Public Library was pleased to contribute to this annual event. Each student at New Hope Elementary School was invited to select ten books, which will help preserve the learning they accomplished during the school year. Teachers organized a book-distribution area that had the feel of a bookstore, with sections featuring Dr. Seuss, princess, and superhero books. “The students loved the variety of books available and were really eager to get started reading,” said Coby Austin, director of programs and policy at Family Success Alliance, an initiative of the Orange County Health Department.

Book Harvest is a Durham nonprofit organization that “provides books to children who need them and engages families and communities to promote children’s lifelong literacy and academic success.” Book Harvest has given away over 600,000 books, mostly in Durham County. The donated books help students avoid what is known as the “summer slide,” or the loss of valuable education during vacation. Studies have shown that students tend to lose reading skills during the summer months when they do not have access to resources like books.

One year ago, the Friends sponsored a smaller Books on Break distribution at New Hope Elementary as a pilot of this program in Orange County. Family Success Alliance teamed up with Book Harvest in selecting the school and organizing the event. The Friends provided a grant for books to be given to two grades, and students and their families raised additional funds.

IMG_3859This year, two members of the Friends Board of Directors, Harry Kavros and Steve Smith, volunteered to raise enough money to fund a book distribution for students in kindergarten through second grade. They met with town leaders and received valuable guidance from Hillsborough mayor Tom Stevens and Orange County School Board president Steven Halkiotis. Thanks to the generosity of local citizens, businesses, and nonprofits, over $8,000 was raised, comfortably surpassing the original goal of $6,000. The Friends of the Orange County Public Library again provided a significant grant. Students and their families raised funds so that third- through fifth-grade students would also receive ten books.

Support for the students does not end with giving them books. Family Success Alliance navigators will team up with dozens of families from New Hope Elementary over the summer. “They’ll be partnering with the parents to reinforce support for reading and other ways to prevent the summer slide,” explains Coby Austin.

Rachel Stine, education partnerships manager at Book Harvest, said that Books on Break at New Hope Elementary was a superb example of collaboration, adding, “We are grateful to community members, Family Success Alliance, and the Friends of the Orange County Public Library for partnering with New Hope Elementary and Book Harvest to make Books on Break 2017 a great success!”

 

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Book Sale May 11-14 (and More!)

We on the Board of the Friends of the Orange County Public Library are looking forward to a fun and productive 2017.

First, we’d like to thank all of our Friends members as well as members of the community who supported the Library after it was flooded in January. The Friends held an impromptu fund raiser to cover the insurance deductible, and with your generous help, we exceeded our goal in just a few days. 

Last year, the Friends sponsored a pilot project to fund Book Harvest’s Books on Break summer-reading program at New Hope Elementary. This year, we were pleased to continue our support of this important and successful effort to provide children with books for summer vacation reading.

We have also continued our support of the Library’s terrific Summer Learning program by providing funding for activities, prizes, and events all summer long. Summer Learning kicks off June 3 with a fun run and a day of events at the Library. Stay tuned for details on how you can get involved! If you or your organization is interested in sponsoring any Summer Learning events, please contact us.

The Spring Book Sale is coming up: May 12-14 at the Library. Friends members are invited to attend a reception, auction, and sneak peek on Thursday, May 11, 5-7:30. We need volunteers to work the book sale! Please click here to sign up to volunteer.

If you have not renewed your membership for 2017, now would be a great time to do so. Please click here to download an application form, which you can drop off at or mail to the Library. You can also easily renew your membership at the book sale.

If you would like to contribute, volunteer, or join our Board, please contact us at focplnc@gmail.com. Thank you for being a Friend!

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