The 2015 Festival of Readers, held last Saturday, on the beautiful campus of Mission College was a great success! Over 800 parents and children enjoyed a beautiful day of fun activities focused on the importance of reading as a family. In addition to arts, crafts, book giveaways, and games, the crowd was treated to an entertainment program of music and storytelling representing multicultural traditions from around the world.
The program was masterfully hosted by Fidel Ramirez, Director of Youth Services at Youth Policy Institute. Local talent was represented by the talented mariachi singer, Ariana Segura, Unusual Suspects Theatre workshop participants from San Fernando High School, and the Aztec Indian dance troupe Kalpulli Xochiyaoyotl. They were joined onstage by: We Tell Stories, a talented troupe of multicultural storytellers; Sammy the Saver, a furry bunny friend who teaches kids about the importance of saving money; and Antics, an amazing hip hop dance troupe. All were crowd pleasers, especially for the kids. The day’s events culminated in a performance by the renowned Masanga Marimba band that filled the quad with joyous Latin and African drums and marimbas, followed by a rousing drum circle led by Shane Coleman and Heroes of Life.
Friends of the Family founded the Festival of Readers in 2003 as an extension of the agency’s popular family literacy program and as a way of engaging the community around the importance of reading in the home as crucial to children’s school success. Holding the event on a college campus increases families’ familiarity with local pathways to higher education.
This year Friends of the Family partnered with Youth Policy Institute and L.A. Promise Neighborhood to present the Festival of Readers. Other community partners who provided invaluable support and participation included Los Angeles Mission College, City Council Member Felipe Fuentes, Assemblymember Patty Lopez, Our Streets Dreams, Heroes of Life, and Youth Speak Collective. In addition, over 100 dedicated volunteers made the day possible! On behalf of everyone in our community, we extend our heartfelt appreciation for your contributions!