Sometimes we pay lip service to the importance of reading. As a society we may say reading is important, but according to the Reading is Fundamental organization, 65% of 4th graders read below grade level, which contributes to high school dropout rates. Only 37% of high school graduates read at or above proficiency.
But how do book festivals support literacy efforts?
One way is by networking with local school districts to offer opportunities for students to attend as part of a class field trip or a club (this is especially true if the festival occurs at least in part on a weekday). The Louisville Book Festival definitely does this. Often, book festivals are free to the public, which means it is an inexpensive way for kids to have a literacy-encouraging experience. The Louisville Book Festival does this too- all events are free to the public!
Book festivals also market themselves to families with children of varying ages by inviting picture book authors and middle grade authors and young adult authors. Attending as a family can be an inexpensive and fun weekend activity that offers at least one thing every person in the family will enjoy. Make it an outing!
Another way book festivals support literacy is by providing a way for the community to support diverse groups of writers, especially local writers who are more apt to visit schools nearby and do local events that bring books talks to others. Book lovers, as a rule, tend to buy a lot of books and then often donate those books to local libraries, community centers or preschools. It is a cycle of book sharing that benefits lots of people from the authors on down to the littlest readers.
Book festivals are a great way for authors and readers to network with each other. If you’re a book lover, you have probably seen another person reading a book and thought, “That’s my kind of person.” Even if you have nothing else in common, a shared love of books can be a pretty strong bond.
Lastly, come out and enjoy engaging in a community discussion about a wide variety of topics that affect your community. This is a great way to engage a community as a whole to have an interest in the topics shared in books, especially when there are issues that affect us all.
The Louisville Book Festival plans to check off all these literacy boxes and more!
Plan to join us NEXT WEEK on October 28th and 29th, 2022 at the Kentucky International Convention Center. You will be so happy you did. And it’s all free!