The community gathers for a festival to raise awareness of children’s literacy


Syracuse, NY – Dozens of people gathered on a beautiful day in Syracuse’s South End to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of children’s literacy on Saturday.

At noon, the event began with a parade from Beauchamp Library on South Salina Street to Brighton Academy Middle School on West Brighton Avenue where the Light a Candle for Literacy festival was held.

Around 50 people participated in the parade and other members of the community flocked to the start of the festival.

The event, which took place every year from 2005 to 2015, restarted this year. The festival aims to celebrate children’s literacy, encourage parents to read to their children daily, and combat summer reading loss among children, according to the festival’s website.

The event featured music, live performances, and local children’s book authors and illustrators. The organizers also organized book distributions.

Recently, Sen. John Mannion secured $10,000 state funding for the program to help restart the annual festival, according to a press release from the senator’s office.

“The Light a Candle Parade for Literacy and Children’s Book Festival opens up the wonderful world of reading to young people in central New York and I’m proud to have secured resources to help bring this important event back,” Mannion said.

Mannion’s office was one of 13 event sponsors.

The Light a candle for literacy is a volunteer-run summer and after-school literacy program based in the Brighton area. The program was founded by Geneva Hayden, a longtime Southside community and literacy advocate.

The program is for school-aged children from kindergarten through fifth grade.

Editor Anne Hayes covers breaking news. Any advice, an idea for an article, a question or a comment? You can reach her at [email protected].

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