When Feria Para Aprender (The Learning Fair) takes place next month, it will not only be the state’s largest Spanish language educational event, but it will set a one-day record in Texas for the most number of educational books given away.
More than 18,500 books will be given away free at this year’s event, which is expanding to a larger regional venue at the Travis County Expo on Saturday, February 6.
The Feria centralizes nonprofit and college resources to help Spanish speaking parents navigate the U.S. education system so they can drive their children’s academic success.
“The Feria is what we call a ‘mobilization’ experience designed to align a community’s educational infrastructure and help it scale to meet 21st Century population demands,” said Sylvia Acevedo, founder of the Feria and the event Chair.
“Many groups and volunteers have helped orchestrate this book give-a-way and are working together to create a very unique educational experience.”
Last Saturday, in honor of MLK Service Day, volunteers from around the area gathered at Austin Partners in Education (APIE) to begin sorting the books. Groups such as United Way, Campfire Boys & Girls, and Americorps stuffed books into more than 10,000 educational bags that will be distributed at the Feria.
Books to be given away will include Spanish, English, and bilingual covers with topics ranging from science, math, history, and technology. Of the books featured will be a Spanish version of the popular children’s book and movie, “Where the Wild Things Are.”
“I’d like to thank all our book underwriters for giving us the opportunity to instill the value of literacy with a population that is a large part of our future workforce in Central Texas,” said Kathrin Brewer, Executive Director, Austin Partners in Education. “Thanks to Wal-Mart Foundation, First Books, Scholastic Inc., Mexican Consulate, Austin Community Foundation, and Freescale Semiconductor.”
The Feria launched in 2007 as the nation’s first citywide Spanish language education model and was replicated in Los Angeles in August 2009, where it drew more than 20,000 parents and students. The co-producers of the 2010 Central Texas Feria event are CommuniCard, LLC and APIE.
Other key collaborators for the event include Spanish media outlets such as Univision TV, Univision Radio, and Ahora Si. There will also be more than 80 exhibitors, including ISDs, nonprofits, colleges, universities and scholarship groups from around the Central Texas region.