Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019. 2:56 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: Members of the Belmopan Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program (BYSEP) are trying to foster a greater appreciation for reading among youths with their second annual book festival, being held on Saturday, August 17 at the Belmopan Civic Center.
The festival forms a part of the BYSEP’s “Tek Time fi Read” project, which partners with organizations in the United Staes that donate books for all ages.
The team of volunteers hoped to give away over 3,000 books at the event by using a format to make it fun. Attendees at the festival will play free reading-related games and earn points which they can then use to “purchase” the books of their choice. The festival will also feature a children’s book exchange, teacher’s resources, special books for sale, and other activities geared towards diminishing the perception that reading is boring by showing youths how fun it can be.
Our newsroom spoke with, Nia Beane, one of the youth volunteers from the BYSEP, who said that the group coined the idea for the festival after identifying a need for it in their community.
“We started it because they have a need for it in the community. Reading is a big part of someone’s life. We decided to focus on that if we give them the tools to be the best person they can be, then they will be able to make a difference in their community,” Beane said.
Since June 2018, the youth-led project has brought over 11,000 children’s books into the country. Under the project, the volunteers have held the first book festival in Belmopan, renovated the Belmopan library, held a library open day and book fair at the Belmopan library. The volunteers have also held a book festival in the village of Seine Bight and distributed thousands of books to families, schools, libraries, and other programs.
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