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40,000 books fuel free literacy fair at Watsonville High School

WATSONVILLE, Calif. (KION-TV)- Bringing the joy of reading to Watsonville high school and the Pajaro Valley community. A world book drive and family literacy fair was held Saturday, offering a staggering 40,000 books for free.

Watsonville High was filled with families looking to take home some of the thousands of books being given out at the reading opens the world event. 

"I was really happy to see how packed it is here and all the different things we have available, not just the book drive, all these other vendors out here," PVSUD board of trustee member Olivia Flores said. "I was overwhelmed and this is the first time I’ve been and I think it’s amazing.” 

The fair also featured fun activities for people living in Watsonville and the Pajaro Valley. The community all came together to promote a love for reading.

The American Federation of Teachers says, "disruptions due to the pandemic make focusing on literacy even more important, to help students not only catch up, but to thrive."

But for some, buying books isn't a luxury they can afford.

“Right now with the cost of living, buying books might not be high on the priority list," President of the Pajaro Valley of Federation of Teachers, Nelly Vaquera-Boggs, said. "Books are pretty expensive so having this opportunity to provide free books to our families as you can see they are just excited.” 

Books were available for age groups ranging from elementary middle and high school. There were also different books representing diverse ethnicities and viewpoints.

The AFT says it helps reduce inequities. 

One teacher KION spoke with said he wishes events like this were more common.  

PVUSD also partnered with healing California to offer families free dental and vision services in Watsonville High's gym. 

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Briana Mathaw


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