The Mebane Foundation is pleased to share this exciting news from Book Harvest, one of our most valued partners. I met Founder Ginger Young back in 2017 and was impressed by her vision for early childhood literacy and her desire to ensure that all children have access to engaging, age-appropriate books in their own homes. Supporting her mission was an easy decision. Over the past ten years, Book Harvest has placed more than 1.6 million books into the hands of children in Durham and the surrounding area. Now, as Book Harvest enters its second decade, we will be cheering Ginger on as she pours that same passion and boundless energy into transforming the literacy landscape in other communities across the state and the nation. ~Larry Coulborne, President of the Mebane Foundation
GINGER YOUNG NAMED CEO OF BOOK HARVEST: New Role Sets Organization on Path of Expansion
Durham, NC, February 1, 2022 — Sarah Wood, Chair of the Book Harvest Board of Directors, announced today that Ginger Young, Book Harvest’s Founder and Executive Director for the past 10 years, has been named Chief Executive Officer of Book Harvest. In this new role, Young will develop key strategies to leverage the successes of the organization’s first decade in Durham, North Carolina to transform the childhood literacy landscape in other communities across the state and beyond.
Wood explained, “Our first ten years in Durham have proven that Book Harvest knows how to ensure that all children have access to free books from birth, to support families so they nourish their children’s early language development, and to create a community-wide culture of childhood literacy. Now more than ever – when less than half of all children who live in poverty enter kindergarten ready to learn – we have an imperative and an obligation to bring what we know to other communities.”
In her new role, Young will lay the groundwork for an expanded Book Harvest organization – one that realizes greater reach and impact in its flagship community of Durham and that catalyzes and maximizes its impact, scale, and policy influence beyond Durham.
“We have just celebrated our first decade of successes,” observed Young. “Since Book Harvest launched in 2011, children and families have harvested 1.6 million books to take home and keep, building home libraries. Our portfolio of programs to transform children’s literacy here in Durham starts at birth and reaches deep into our community. As we embark on our second decade, we are ready to work with other communities, and I am thrilled to have this opportunity to be in even greater partnership with system leaders, policy makers, and other passionate childhood literacy advocates across our state and our country.”
Today, Wood and Young will launch a search for an Executive Director of Book Harvest Durham, which will continue to be part of Book Harvest, Inc., responsible for taking its signature literacy programs to scale in Book Harvest’s flagship community and piloting new program innovations and policy initiatives in Durham (see the full job description at bookharvest.org/careers). At the same time, Young will begin the work to expand the organization’s impact to other communities, a portfolio of initiatives that will include program replication, public policy engagement, and resource development.
“None of this would be possible,” added Young, “without a decade of formidable and robust partnerships in Durham – with community organizations, public and private enterprises, and, most especially, with the children and families whom we continue to serve and honor. We stand in awe of every child’s innate brilliance and boundless potential, and we are committed to unlocking opportunity and ensuring that every child everywhere has what they need to thrive in school and in life.”
About Book Harvest
Book Harvest provides an abundance of books and ongoing literacy support to families and their children from birth and serves as a model for communities committed to ensuring that children are lifelong readers and learners. Since its founding in 2011, Book Harvest has provided more than 1.6 million books to children and a wealth of literacy supports to parents in central North Carolina and beyond. Learn more at www.bookharvest.org.