A Time for Sharing the Gifts of Reading and Gratitude Boys Town North Florida’s Annual Book Fair and Book-Nic

“To a great mind, nothing is too small." Sherlock Holmes

On June 17th, Boys Town North Florida (BTNF) held its Annual Book Fair and Book-Nic. The annual themed event held at BTNF's ART Town facility is a fun-filled affair that promotes and supports summer reading. With magnifying glasses in hand, youth browsed a wide selection of diverse books from a range of genres.  While it was difficult to narrow down the choices for most, each youth “identified" at least two to three books to take home and read during the summer months. Youth also were “gifted" a book series and other goodies before enjoying a Book-Nic- lunch for the day. Special time was allotted for youth and families in each of BTNF's programs, including foster care, in-home family services, care coordination services and home campus, to attend the event.

BTNF's Book Fair and Book Nic Friends expressed their gratitude to be able to share the gift of reading with BTNF's youth and families. Color in STEM, Eduprehd Research & Development Partners, FCRR, Maya's Book Nook, Florida Education Association, PS Solutions and individual BTNF Book Nic friends donated more than 600 books, collectively, for the event.

BTNF offered special thanks to TACCOE-National Achievers, co-event coordinators and volunteers for the event since 2019. These students, along with other volunteers from local schools including Lincoln High School and Florida A & M University Development and Research School, were engaged in every aspect of the event. Samul King, student co-chair, noted, “I've been a volunteer since the first book fair and grateful for the opportunity to be a part of something that can make a difference in my peers' academic success."

BTNF youth also expressed their thanks for the books and appreciation for the volunteers who took the time to host the book fair for them. Book Fair and Book-Nic Friends regard their personal handwritten notes of gratitude as “treasures." 

Executive Director Marcus Lampkin, noted “While this event is one of many literacy and summer activities that we provide to enhance the academic success of our youth, the Book Fair and Book-Nic is one the most anticipated events for our youth.  Each year it gets bigger in terms of donations and support. Thanks to the number of books donated this year, we will now be able to provide book-bundles to enhance and create home libraries for the youth and families in our foster care and community programs."