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2019 Children’s Book Festival of Johnstown Attracts Top Notch Talent

Posted on January 17, 2019

Johnstown, PA (Jan. 17, 2019) – If you’re a parent of a young child, it’s likely your little one’s bedtime routine includes reading a story together. And chances are the hugely popular Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site series is a favorite. Join us in April as The Learning Lamp welcomes Sherri Duskey Rinker, the New York Times bestselling author of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, Mighty, Mighty Construction Site and Steam Train Dream Train to the 2019 Children’s Book Festival of Johnstown.

The Children’s Book Festival will be held April 6 & 7, 2019 at the Bottle Works at 411 Third Avenue in Johnstown.Families will be able to meet Rinker as she presents, reads to children, and signs copies of her books.Local and regional authors are invited to join in the fun by reserving a table at the book festival to meet children and promote and sell their own books throughout the weekend.

Celebrating its eleventh year with a theme of Pails, Scales and Tails, the Children’s Book Festival of Johnstown aims to provide children in grades PreK – 6 in and their families with a FREE, interactive and engaging literary experience that inspires in children a love for books, encourages parents to read to their little ones, and gives families access to affordable new and used books to build home libraries of their own. And every child who comes to the Book Festival walks away with a free book from the First Book national book bank. 

In addition to Rinker’s presentation, the festival will feature other nationally and regionally known authors/illustrators, like five-time Parents’ Choice Award winner Barry Louis Polisar, an author, songwriter, poet and storyteller.

Barry performs his songs on two different Grammy Award-winning albums and sings his song All I Want is You in the opening credits of the Academy Award-winning movie Juno. Polisar has written songs for Sesame Street and The Weekly Reader and starred in a television show for children that won two Emmy Awards. Polisar will also take the stage with live storytelling performances.

Another featured author is Tom Watson of the popularStick Dog and Stick Cat early chapter book series. Tom draws the original sketches for all the Stick Dog stories and his illustrator, Ethan Long, takes Tom’s ideas and pens the final pictures that readers see in all of his books. Watson’s first job out of college was in politics, however, he likes writing books for children a lot more than writing speeches.

Lastly, the Children’s Book Festival of Johnstown is happy to announce the return of internationally- renowned cartoonist Joe Wos of Pittsburgh to our lineup of artists. Wos started drawing mazes at the age of 7 and is regarded as a master maze maker. A fan favorite in 2018, Wos wows adults and children alike with real-time illustrations and storytelling and hands-on drawing workshops for older kids.

Additionally, the festival includes themed arts and crafts activities, writing/rhyming workshops and a STEAM-based workshop featuring The Learning Lamp To Go program – a children’s mobile makerspace that encourages exploration, innovation and tinkering through hands-on projects with a STEAM (science, engineering, technology, art and math) focus. Families will also find new and used book sales, refreshments, and hundreds of entries in our annual bookmark contest. Festivalgoers are invited to vote for their favorites, and winners of each age bracket receive a basket full of age-appropriate books.

Our thanks to the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and its regional partner the Pennsylvania Rural Arts Alliance for supporting the festival with a $3,000 grant. The Learning Lamp is seeking additional sponsors for 2019. Community support is critical to making this event accessible to children and families of all incomes. The festival wouldn’t be possible without the help of volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Festival Coordinator Kerri Belardi at kbelardi@thelearninglamp.org. For more information about the 11th Annual Children’s Book Festival of Johnstown, visit our website, thelearninglamp.org or visit us on Facebook at facebook.com/CBFJohnstown/. 

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The Learning Lamp is a nonprofit organization with a mission to engage all children in the support they need to succeed. We deliver high quality programs that are affordable and accessible to families of all income levels. The Learning Lamp served 37,197 children and adults from 52 school districts and 71 private schools and other organizations in 19 Pennsylvania counties and communities in Maryland and West Virginia in 2017.

Our programs include: one-to-one tutoring; before/after school programs; portable classrooms aimed at building math and science skills; alternative education programs for at-risk students; evidence-based prevention programs; online learning and credit recovery; SAT preparation; educationally-focused child care; literacy-based preschool programs; and grant writing and project consulting for schools.

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