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Powerhouse Lineup Planned for 2018 Children’s Book Festival of Johnstown

Posted on January 22, 2018

Johnstown, PA (Jan. 22, 2018) – Whether you are the parent of a young child, or are a kid at heart, you are bound to be familiar with the hugely popular If You Give a Mouse a Cookie series. The adventures of an exuberantly energetic and bossy rodent have inspired children and parents to read together for 30 years! The Learning Lamp welcomes Laura Numeroff, the New York Times bestselling author of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Raising a Hero and What Mommies Do Best/What Daddies Do Best, to the 2018 Children’s Book Festival of Johnstown.

Numeroff is a household name and has been entertaining generations of young readers with herrhythmic tales featuring Mouse and other animals in her If You Give… series.“Reading to children not only creates a priceless bond, but it also passes on a passion for books, proven to raise well-rounded adults,” explained Numeroff. “I hope my books inspire kids to love reading, as my parents did for me.” 

The Children’s Book Festival will be held April 7 & 8, 2018 at the BOTTLE WORKS at 411 Third Avenue in Johnstown. Families will be able to meet Numeroff at the festival, where she will present, read to children, and sign books.She will also be the keynote speaker for the festival’s Saturday Night Author Talk. The panel discussion will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 7, and is designed to provide published and aspiring authors and illustrators of children’s literature valuable tips for finding their own success in the publishing industry.

Local and regional authors are also welcome to reserve a table at the book festival to meet festivalgoers and promote and sell their own books throughout the weekend.

Celebrating its tenth year, 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 them 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 Numeroff’s presentation, the festival will feature other nationally and regionally known authors, like former Children’s Poet Laureate (2013-15) Kenn Nesbitt, the author of many books for children including Kiss, Kiss Good Night, My Hippo Has the Hiccups, Revenge of the Lunch Ladies, and many others. Kenn travels the country, visiting over 60 schools each year, sharing his wacky brand of poetry with kids nationwide, and helping to create a new generation of poetry lovers. His website, poetry4kids.com, is the most visited children’s poetry website on the Internet.

Joining our featured author lineup is Mark Weakland. Mark is a literacy consultant, teacher, writer, and musician. He is the author of threeresource books for teachers, a number of award-winning music projects, and more than 50 books for children – including his newest release The West End Treehouse Mystery that is sure to hit home as it is based right here in Johnstown. He greatly enjoys spending time at his western Pennsylvania home, Springwater Farm. Visit his website, MarkWeaklandLiteracy.com, and follow him on Twitter @MarkWeakland.

The Children’s Book Festival of Johnstown will also feature festival-favorite Rock N Roll Pet Store by Mike Zaffuto, storytelling performances by Master Storyteller Charlotte Blake Alston, arts and crafts activities, and writing/rhyming and illustrating workshops for older kids. New this year will be a STEAM-based workshop featuring KidVention – a children’s makerspace that encourages exploration, innovation and tinkering through hands-on projects with a STEAM (science, engineering, technology, art and math) focus. The event also hosts new and used book sales, refreshments, and an annual bookmark contest. Winners of each age bracket receive a basket full of age-appropriate books.

The Learning Lamp is preparing to kick off its annual fundraising campaign that helps to bring renowned authors and illustrators such as Laura Numeroff to Johnstown at NO COST to children and families! Leading the way is a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and $3,000 from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and its regional partner the Pennsylvania Rural Arts Alliance. The Challenge America Program aims to extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations—people whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. The Children’s Book Festival of Johnstown helps to connect children and families of all incomes with award-winning authors and illustrators that inspire kids in Western Pennsylvania to read and learn.

The Learning Lamp is also seeking corporate sponsors to partner with us in 2018. Additionally, the festival wouldn’t be possible without the help of countless volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Festival Coordinator Kerri Belardi at kbelardi@thelearninglamp.org. For more information about the 10th Annual Children’s Book Festival of Johnstown, visit our website, thelearninglamp.org or visit us on Facebook at facebook.com/CBFJohnstown/.

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 35,525 children from 62 school districts and 39 non-public and private schools and other organizations in 17 Pennsylvania counties and one county in Maryland in 2016.

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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    @thelearninglamp:We are thrilled to have been awarded a gift certificate from First Book and Pizza Hut - The Literacy Project to help get high-quality books and educational resources into the hands of children in need in our region! Thank you! @pizzahut @firstbookorg
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    @thelearninglamp:Swapping out our paint brushes with fly swatters for the day! These cool masterpieces were fun but quite messy to create! 🎨
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