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Bookmark Contest Kicks Off 2024 Children’s Book Festival

Posted on February 14, 2024

Johnstown, PA (February 14, 2024) – Our region’s premiere event for families, the Children’s Book Festival, kicks off this month with a call for students to get creative and design and submit bookmarks that represent the theme of Bark, Roar, and Explore. 

The bookmark contest is part of the annual event hosted by The Learning Lamp that connects children and families to top-selling, critically acclaimed children’s authors, illustrators, and storytellers. The bookmarks will be on display at the 15th annual festival, which takes place April 13 and 14, 2024 at Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center in Johnstown’s historic Cambria City neighborhood.

“The bookmark contest is a Children’s Book Festival staple,” said Kerri Belardi, director of communications for The Learning Lamp. “It’s always fun to see how children interpret the year’s theme and see their creativity shine in their bookmark designs!.”

The bookmark design contest is divided into four age brackets:

  • Division #1: Grades Pre-K & K
  • Division #2: Grades 1 & 2
  • Division #3: Grades 3 & 4
  • Division #4: Grades 5 & 6 

A winner in each division will receive a prize package that includes a personal library of books. Winning entries are selected by popular vote of those attending the festival.

Teachers can also win a set of books for their classroom by submitting student-created bookmarks for their class. Any child in preschool through grade six, including children who are homeschooled, can take part. One bookmark entry per child will be accepted. Visit https://thelearninglamp.org/for-families/childrens-book-festival/ for a printable entry form. Completed bookmarks can be dropped off or sent to The Learning Lamp at 2025 Bedford St., Johnstown PA, 15904. The deadline to submit is Friday, March 29, 2024 by 4 p.m. 

The Children’s Book Festival is organized by The Learning Lamp and is FREE to families. The event offers quality, interactive literary experiences that inspire children to read, write and draw, and encourage families to read together. Highlights of the weekend include visits from:

  • Alyssa Capucilliauthor of the hugely popular and bestselling Biscuit book series. The adventures of a loveable and mischievous little yellow puppy have inspired both preschoolers and beginning readers for 28 years! Alyssa is the award-winning, imaginative author of the Biscuit book series, Tulip and Rex, the Katy Duck series, The Library Fish and more.
  • Bob Sheathe award-winning author and illustrator known for his whimsical and humorous approach to children’s literature. Shea is well known for his Dinosaur Vs. series, Ballet Cat series, and runaway smash hit – Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great.
  • Alicia Salazara Mexican American children’s book author who has written for blogs, magazines and education publishers. Alicia is a former elementary school teacher and the author of the Camila the Star series of early chapter books about a young, Mexican American girl who explores her love of acting, singing, and dancing that is relatable to every kid, no matter their culture.
  • Brian Richards – Music will fill the festival as Brian takes the main stage. His creative take on storytelling combines magic, comedy, juggling, storytelling, puppets and audience participation, captivating children and fostering excitement about reading!

The festival includes arts and crafts activities, writing and illustration workshops, new and used book sales, refreshments and more! Every child attending the Book Festival will also receive a free book.

For more information about the 15th Annual Children’s Book Festival, call 814-262-0732 x245, or visit thelearninglamp.org, or follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/CBFJohnstown/.

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The Learning Lamp is a nonprofit organization with a mission to engage all children in the support they need to succeed. We deliver high-quality programs that are affordable and accessible to families of all income levels. In 2022, The Learning Lamp served 34,813 youth/adults from 61 public school districts and 70 other schools and organizations in 22 Pennsylvania counties. 

Our programs include: child care and preschool, after-school programs, tutoring, SAT prep, school staffing, alternative education programs for at-risk students, online learning, credit recovery, drug and alcohol prevention programs, and grant writing and project consulting for schools.

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