The 27th Annual African American Children’s Book Fair will be held on Saturday, February 2, 2019 at Community College of Philadelphia (CCP), 17th and Spring Garden Streets, in the gym, from 1 pm to 4 pm.
The African American Children’s Book Project, is a small non-profit doing big things in the world of literacy. Since its inception, 28 years ago, the organization has created programs that reflect its slogan – “A Book Opens Up A World of Opportunities.”
The Book Fair is one of those programs that were created over 27 years ago because there was a need in the community. Over 250 people attended its first event. Today, on average, more than 4,000 people attend the event at CCP. We like to say that we feed the literary hunger of children around the country.
In fact, the book fair is one of the oldest and largest single-day events for African-American Children’s books in the country. The event features nationally known bestselling authors/illustrators, many of whom have won some of the most prestigious American Library Association awards, including the Coretta Scott King Award. More than 35 authors/illustrators – the stars of the children’s book industry – will participate. These authors/illustrators have produced some of the best books of our generation.
With more than a quarter of a century of serving the literary needs of the community, the fair’s success is due to presenting the best and the brightest from the African-American children’s literary community. Also the opportunity for children to connect one on one with these authors/illustrators is an added plus. Parents, caregivers, educators and the media from the Tri-State area consistently support the event.
Adults who attended the program as children now bring their children. They understand the importance of having books in the home and the life-long impact of reading on the journey to success for their children.
The book fair also highlights the organization’s “Preserve a legacy, buy a book” initiative to create home libraries. You can’t tell a child to read at home if there are no books in the household. With fewer retailers in the region offering diverse books, the need is even greater.
Research has shown that children who are given options in what they read will pursue this activity independently. Also, children who read outside their normal course work are more productive students.
The afternoon is packed with activities that promote the power and joy of reading. Bestselling authors and illustrators make presentations from their books. The Literary Row distributes book-related promotional materials free of charge.
For caregivers, there is a literary resource center that provides information on trends in the children’s publishing industry. Our Educator’s Book-Giveaway distributes brand new books to teachers and librarians to use in their schools.