Published: May 15, 2012 01:33 PM
Modified: May 15, 2012 01:34 PM
Roses to Book Harvest, which recently distributed its 50,000th free book in the community.
It’s hard to believe an effort that has grown this expansive and successful began with one woman, local folk art dealer Ginger Young, and a handful of used children’s books just a little more than a year ago.
She was spurred by studies she’d read indicating that merely having books available in a household is an important factor in children’s academic success, and that most low-income households have very few books at home. Well, Young thought, that’s a problem we can fix.
She set about collecting gently-used children’s books and distributing them to area health clinics, community centers, afterschool programs and more.
She brought in shelves, if the venue didn’t have them, and stocked the shelves with books – not just for children to read on site, or to borrow, but to take home and keep.
Book Harvest gained traction fast.
Many families have books around that their children have outgrown, and Young’s book drives netted thousands of books. The places she donated them to were receptive and appreciative.
She and her team of volunteers now distribute books to 25 locations throughout the Triangle. Two weeks ago they put on a shelf their 50,000th book – which by now is probably being enjoyed by a child somewhere in a home that is just a little bit richer for it.
Roses to the local students who were among this year’s Morehead-Cain Scholars at UNC.
Alice Huang and Sarah Molina of Chapel Hill were among the 51 Morehead-Cain recipients this year. They were also among the nine Triangle-area students on the list. The others are Nicole Behnke and Cecilia Stefany Polanco of Durham; Claire Bennett, Lindsay Gorman and Larry Han of Raleigh; Krunal Amin of Elon; and Bronwyn Fadem of Rutherfordton.
We’re not quite sure what to make of the fact that seven of those nine are young women, but congratulations to all.
The Morehead-Cain scholarships cover all expenses for four years of undergraduate student, plus summer enrichment opportunities.
Roses to Maggie Weber, 11, of Chapel Hill, whose sketch of an adult penguin sheltering and caring for its chick won second prize in Cricket Magazine’s January art competition.
Cricket is an award-winning international children’s magazine for children ages 9-14.
Entries for its monthly competitions come in from kids around the world, so being selected for one of the top prizes is quite an accomplishment.
Keep making art, Maggie!
Roses to Art Menius, who has just come on board as the new executive director of The ArtsCenter, and to Interim Director Jay Miller, who has helped give Menius a more stable foundation on which to step.
The ArtsCenter has often struggled financially during its nearly 40 years of existence and, hard-hit by the recession, it found itself at one point about a half-million dollars in the hole.
But in the past year, Miller and the rest of the ArtsCenter’s staff and board have cut costs, won some big grants, increased memberships, and implemented new budgeting strategies that have pulled the venerable arts organization back from the brink. Menius said The ArtsCenter will start the new fiscal year “solidly in the black.”
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