Local literacy groups benefit from success of Tucson Festival of - Tucson News Now

Local literacy groups benefit from success of Tucson Festival of Books

Tents for the Festival of Books. (Source: Tucson News Now) Tents for the Festival of Books. (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The Tucson Festival of Books started with the mission of helping literacy programs in Southern Arizona. 

Over the past eight years, the festival has grown tremendously, attracting more than 100,000 visitors during the two-day period. 

"When we started the book festival, we did it with the purpose of helping literacy programs here in Southern Arizona," said Brender Vinder, co-founder of the festival. 

Since its start, the festival has donated close to $1.5 million to their beneficiaries. 

"We have three beneficiaries. Literacy Connects, The Reading Seed Program, and we have the UA Bookstores does the community outreach programs," Vinder said. 

Literacy Connects has received over $800,000 and thousands of books during the last eight years. The organization relies heavily on donations and grants and they say this festival continues to be one of their largest donations.

They pump this money right back into the community. 

Last year, Literacy Connects helped more than 40,000 people of all ages in Pima County through various programs, including reading programs for adults and one on one coaching for students in elementary school. 

"Children that are reading by third grade are more likely to graduate high school. So we want moms that are pregnant to be reading to their in utero child. As many words as kids can hear, as soon as possible," said Amber Mazzei, director of development at Literacy Connects. 

The organization has given more than $94,375 to those in need. 

You can find more information about the Tucson Festival of Books here: http://tucsonfestivalofbooks.org/

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