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Harvest Youth Board plans community Books & Bunnies event

March 23, 2022

Martinsville, Va. — The Harvest Youth Board is inviting local youth and families to a fun event that combines Easter egg hunts, interactive activities and books.

On April 9 from 9 a.m. until noon at the Smith River Sports Complex Amphitheater, local youth (ages 0-12) and families are invited to participate in the Harvest Youth Board’s 1st Annual Books and Bunnies event.

The free event will consist of two Easter egg hunts. The first hunt begins at 9:30 a.m. for children ages 0-5, and the second hunt begins at 11:15 a.m. for children ages 6-12. Local organizations will offer fun crafts and interactive activities for youth from 9 a.m. until noon. The Easter Bunny will also be in attendance to take pictures with attendees.  In addition to the fun activities, youth attending the event will receive an age-appropriate book. In case of rain, the event will be held on April 16.

Camille Underwood, a member of the Harvest Youth Board, said that Books and Bunnies is a great opportunity to help kids in a way that brings fun and learning together.

“Reading is such an important skill, and unfortunately, low literacy rates can cause children to not only fall behind but stay behind in school. The Harvest Youth Board wants to help improve reading skills and literacy rates in the community by making sure all children have access to books,” said Underwood.

The Harvest Youth Board is partnering with Smart Beginnings Martinsville Henry and Boys and Girls Clubs of the Blue Ridge to provide 2,000 free books for the event.

Melanie McLarty, executive director of Smart Beginnings Martinsville Henry, said the event “will give us (Smart Beginnings Martinsville Henry) the opportunity to provide early learning resources, connect with families, and have fun facilitating ‘make and take’ art activities for children.”

Other participating organizations include Blue Ridge Regional LibraryInfinity Acres RanchMartinsville-Henry County Family YMCAPiedmont Arts Teen Council, 4-H, and Martinsville-Henry County Coalition for Health & Wellness.

The Piedmont Arts Teen Arts Council, an organization with the mission to get young people involved in the arts, will provide face painting for attendees. According to the Teen Arts Council, they are excited to participate to “educate children about the importance of learning and enjoying reading so they can hop from book to book!”

Janet Boucher, Children’s Librarian at the Blue Ridge Regional Library, is “happy to participate in an event that not only celebrates books — and bunnies, of course — but also provides books to children so they can build their own home library.” Boucher said, “It’s a great way to create lifelong readers.”

Volunteers are crucial to the success of the Books and Bunnies event. The Harvest Youth Board needs volunteers to work in two shifts between 8:00 a.m. and 12 p.m. on April 9. They can choose to hide eggs, assist with the book giveaway, or help with interactive activities. Volunteers must be in the 9th grade or higher. Adults are also welcome to volunteer. 

“Volunteers are crucial to the success of this event as they will help the board to ensure that enjoyable, safe, and efficient stations will be provided to the community,” said Caleb Jenkins, Harvest Youth Board Grants Committee chair.

The Harvest Youth Board was created in June 2015 to develop projects and initiatives important to young people in Martinsville-Henry County, and to advise the Harvest Foundation Board of Directors on issues relating to youth.

“The Harvest Youth Board is always seeking new ways to help the youth of Martinsville-Henry County. Last fall, the board found one: literacy. By providing books, we can improve the education of youth, improve their preparation and ultimately improve their lives,” said Piper Doughton, secretary of the Harvest Youth Board.

Doughton added, “The goal of the Harvest Youth Board is to improve the lives of the youth in our community. Books & Bunnies aligns with our mission by providing a safe, fun event for kids while improving their education by providing everyone with a book.”

To find out more about the Books and Bunnies event, visit The Harvest Youth Board Facebook page. 

About The Harvest Youth Board:

The Harvest Youth Board was created in June 2015 to develop projects and initiatives important to young people in Martinsville-Henry County, and to advise the Harvest Foundation Board of Directors on issues relating to youth. The board is supported by the Harvest Foundation and the Kiwanis Club. Grants are available to nonprofits in Martinsville-Henry County for up to $5,000.

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