On Saturday, November 17, FLOC celebrated its annual Book Festival with over 150 students and their families gathering at the Pepco Edison Place Gallery. The evening was highlighted by our guest author, Debbie Levy, who shared her inspiration for the book We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song, a story of the racial history in America. She guided the students through an interactive presentation, reading excerpts from her book, sharing historical events in the civil rights movement, and even including a few musical interludes!
Each student was able to collect up to 15 books to take home and expand their reading collection. The book festival offered books for our youngest students in Kindergarten all the way up to books about college for our high school students. The night also featured guest appearance from PBS’s Arthur. The younger students especially were overjoyed to see one of their favorite TV and book characters at FLOC’s Book Festival.
Inspired by We Shall Overcome, the students also did an activity focused on community action. In this activity, students were prompted to make a personal pledge that would address some aspect of change in their community, school, or personal life.
The book festival offered an opportunity for FLOC students to come and share an evening focused on improving literacy. Every student left with a smile on their face and a handful of books that will promote their interest in reading and academic success.
The over 1,500 books that went home with FLOC students were generously donated by Sedgwick, LLP, M&T Bank, SIGAL Construction Companies, Raffa, P.C., Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, KEYS for the Homeless, and Geppetto Catering(who also provided delicious refreshments!) A huge thank you to WHUT – Howard University Public Television for bringing everyone’s favorite aardvark, Arthur! They also provided backpacks for students to take their books home.
We are grateful for all those who helped out with and attended this year’s book festival and look forward to continuing this event for years to come.
(Kurt Guenther is a program instructor in the Scholars Program and Kate Fleiscsher is the development assistant. Both served on the planning committee for this year’s Book Festival.)