Portland News

Founder of the Coast to Coast Children’s Book Expo and Tour: Reviving the Reading Culture Through Social Interactions

Over the years, books have been slowly replaced by other forms of media, relegating this powerful tool of information into a thing of the past, especially among the younger generation. It is painful to realize that a vast majority of the nation’s youth with better access to education neglect this powerful tool, missing the chance to live a thousand lives through the character and plots presented in books. Reviving the dying book culture and encouraging reading among the younger generation, Coast to Coast Children’s Book Expo and Tour, a group of like-minded individuals and authors are coming together to create awareness in the local communities and encourage the youth to emphasize the importance of reading.

Coast to Coast Children’s Book Expo and Tour is a literary organization for self-published children books authors from the east to west coast. The organization aims to provide youth and families with educational opportunities, book readings, and learning engagement to alleviate some of the damage done to communities by COVID-19. As part of this year’s expo and tour, the self-published authors will engage youth, families, and the community with a memorable experience of social networking and person-to-person interactions discussing literature, fitness, and health. With business donations and community support, children will also receive free books and the opportunity to engage in live readings from self-published authors.

For this year’s event, the organizers will facilitate communication and present a diverse range of children’s books to participants. Other activities planned for the expo include a meet and greet session with other participants and authors, story reading, book signing, live music, entertainment for all, interactive games, and empowering speeches from selected speakers. The expo will provide people with the much-needed communal spirit and interactions while also providing authors with the opportunity to share, read, sell, and showcase their excellent books to families in the community.

The Coast to Coast Children’s Book Expo is an opportunity for authors to share their passion for reading while leveraging children and young people’s passion and curiosity to engage them in motivational, inspiring, and empowering stories. At the same time, the organization is also providing free learning supplies for reading engagements at home, donating free books and helping re-establish children in physical and social learning activities that will give them the space to transition from a distance learning back into the classroom. 

The visionary leader and brain behind the literary organization, Shariece Williams, is a self-published children’s author and educator. She is inspired and motivated to bridge the gap and bring authors and children into the same space to encourage social interactions that will revive the reading culture and positively impact the lives of young ones. To help with its goal of providing accessible learning supplies to vulnerable communities, Coast to Coast Children’s Book Expo and Tour is seeking donations that will support and help restore and enhance the transition out of the stay-at-home lifestyle.

In the coming years, Shariece hopes to expand the coast-to-coast participants between authors, youth, and families. “I want to bring authors together and shine a light on what we do to inspire and motivate children and families to read more books and become the change for literacy,” she said.

Learn more about the Coast to Coast Children’s Book Expo and Tour or make donations through the organization’s website.

Opinions expressed by Portland News contributors are their own.