Books on Break 2021

“This is the BEST DAY EVER!” exclaimed a student from Virginia Cross Elementary. 

The excitement and anticipation in the air was almost tangible in the building on selection day for our Books on Break program. The children walking the halls to their next class anxiously await their class’s turn to shop. All the while wondering what books were available, would their favorite author or title still be there, how many books can they choose? For some of the kindergarten students, it was their first trip to the library….ever! What a momentous moment for them!

This year, we were very excited to be back in the schools for the student selection day  for our Books on Break program. This program is a free book fair for students in some of our high-poverty  schools in Chatham County. Depending upon grade level, students were able to choose 3-5 books to take home to build their at-home libraries. Providing self-selected reading materials for the students to remain engaged in reading and learning over the summer is essential so they do not lose the important skills that they worked so hard to learn during the school year. If there were absent students or those who still attend virtual school, bags of books were packed for them to pick up. No student was left out.

Gratefully, we have been able to increase Books on Break by 50% every year for the past two years! This year, CEF donated over 14,000 books through this amazing program to 6 schools! This positively impacted over 2,300 students throughout Chatham County! This is an incredible feat! We absolutely could not have done this without the support of our amazing volunteers. Over 40 volunteers generously donated their time and efforts to accomplish this, as well as countless teachers and staff. Although, there was still some pivoting of the program, to be able to see the joy, excitement, and appreciation from the students is overwhelming. 

Without the support of our donors and sponsors, this program would not exist. We would like to give a special thank you to our individual donors and the following business sponsors: Chatham County Schools, Duke Energy, the Bastian Family Foundation, CAHEC, Bold Companies, Allen and Tate, Truist, Homes by Dickerson, Triangle Community Foundation, and Central Electric. Your generosity is greatly appreciated. We are STRONGER TOGETHER!

Article by: Jaime Detzi

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