Livingstone’s Children’s Book Festival is Saturday

Published 9:26 am Thursday, April 25, 2019

SALISBURY – The Livingstone College Children’s Book Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday on the front lawn of the campus. It will feature storyteller Linda Gorham, Tyca the Clown and a treat from a local elementary school.

First held in March 1991, the festival was born after Jacquori Franklin, daughter of former Livingstone President Bernard Franklin, asked her dad why there was no book festival in Salisbury like the ones she attended in Virginia.

He didn’t have an answer, so he formed a committee and the rest is history, said Deborah Johnson, the festival coordinator and director of UNCF at Livingstone.

After 28 years, the book festival continues to help address literacy issues that plague many children in the Salisbury-Rowan community.

The book festival was designed to create a love and appreciation for books and reading for children ages 3-12 through storytelling.

“In doing so, it also pays homage to Salisbury and Livingstone’s own storytellers of all storytellers, the late Jacqueline (Jackie) Torrence, ‘The Story Lady,’” Johnson said.

Annually, Livingstone has provided hundreds of children with books to take home.

“How awesome it is to see the campus green covered with children enjoying food and bounce houses while engaging in activities with our college students and volunteers,” Johnson said. “Their smiles are priceless as they select their books to take home.”

For several years, Livingstone College and Friends of the Rowan Public Library partnered on the outreach project. The book festival has continued to thrive over the years with the support of past and current sponsors Salisbury Community Foundation, Edward and Susan Norvell, Delta Sigma Theta sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, F&M Bank, Woodforest Bank, Morris Business Solutions, Mamie Walker, Ledbetter Snacks and Vending, Cheerwine and others.

“We are grateful to them for seeing the need and joining us in an effort to ensure the children in our communities are able to read,” Johnson said. “Reading is a must.”