Nov 21, 2019

Book fair benefits Read Fresno

Yesterday the Kennel Bookstore hosted a book fair in conjunction with Books are Fun, an affiliate of Reader’s Digest, which donated 10 percent of their proceeds to Read Fresno.

Read Fresno is a non-profit organization with the goal of teaching Fresno children in pre-kindergarten through third grade how to read at or above their grade level in order to reverse the dwindling direction of Fresno’s literacy rate.

“Many Fresno State students are involved with Read Fresno as volunteers,” Kennel Bookstore director Ron Durham said.

Susan Bartel, a Kennel Bookstore employee, said she was approached by Books are Fun sales representative Brenda Burt last fall when the Kennel Bookstore was holding a fundraiser for the SPCA and decided the Reader’s Digest book fair would be a great addition to the fundraising campaign.

“Books are Fun is an organization run by Reader’s Digest, which buys books like Costco in bulks of 50,000 or more if they are a good deal,” Burt said.

The success of last fall’s book fair persuaded Burt to return Thursday, this time with the goal of selling the books, cards and knick-knacks to raise proceeds for Read Fresno, which the Kennel Bookstore chose to support this semester.

“I travel in six different counties working for Book are Fun and at each book fair the host chooses where the 10 percent proceeds will be donated to,” Burt said.

Bartel said the Kennel Bookstore chose to support Read Fresno because a student organization had already placed a donation bin for children’s books in the front of the store that will be given to Read Fresno’s program.

“President Welty is promoting the program and a student group has already started collecting donations of books for Read Fresno, so we chose to support the program simultaneously,” Bartel said.

Several books have been donated, and donations are still being accepted in the green bin by the front of the store.

As for the book fair, about $1,000 worth of merchandise was sold, which raised $100 for Read Fresno.

Durham said he considers this a success.

“There were softer sales than usual because of the economy and students not having much extra to spend,” Durham said. “But there were a steady flow of costumers and students browsing the tables, which lets us know the program will be even more successful in the future.”

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