Dr. Seuss, the wildly popular children’s book author, once wrote, “the more you read, the more things you will know. The more places that you learn, the more places you’ll go!”
That’s exactly what the University of Texas-Pan American’s annual event the Festival of International Books and Arts (FESTIBA), is all about. FESTIBA’s “Reading Revolution,” is scheduled for the week of March 22 to March 28, and will include a wide range of exciting attractions that will not only celebrate the arts and humanities but also promote literacy by appealing to children and adults alike.
Throughout the week, festival attendees will hear from a variety of notable novelists and speakers, pose with some of the most beloved storybook characters, hear from superstar Eva Longoria-Parker, and enjoy the annual Community Day on March 27. Community day will include poetry readings, drama performances, art exhibits, musical concerts, and much more throughout the day-long event.
“The community is really excited about FESTIBA,” said Dr. Dahlia Guerra, Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities. “It’s really quite a unique event because we bring in academic scholars who are the best in their field. We bring in experts to talk about the importance of literacy and what we need to as a society to improve reading and writing skills amongst our young people.”
FESTIBA will host numerous children’s authors from around the country, who will then visit local elementary schools to distribute books and curriculum guides as part of the Texas Book Festival’s “Reading Rockstars” program. A new component at FESTIBA called “Hot Spots” will encourage teachers to bring their students to UTPA and engage them in hands-on activities that are geared toward fostering students‘ love for reading.
Another first for FESTIBA is Educator Day, which will officially kick off on March 22. That day will include a Congressional Roundtable on Hispanic literacy in which panelists, including U.S. Rep. Rubén Hinojosa, D-McAllen, UTPA president Robert Nelsen, and a host of authors will address issues on literacy to more than 1,000 educators and librarians. Educator Day guests will participate in breakout sessions and hear from authors as well as representatives from Reading is Fundamental (RIF).
For more information on FESTIBA or a schedule of events, go to www.coah.utpa.edu/festiba or call 956-381-3361.