27th Annual Charles C. Yancey Book Fair | July 6

The 27th Annual Charles C. Yancey Book Fair takes place on July 6 from 12:00 to 3:00 pm at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center, 1350 Tremont Street in Roxbury, Massachusetts.

  This year’s theme, “Reading in the Path to Success,” represents the belief that every child needs support, encouragement, and nurturing not only from their families, but also from their teachers, business leaders, elected officials, and community activists. “The education and development of our children and future leaders will take team effort,” Councillor Yancey said.

  The Yancey Book Fair, which has distributed over 500,000 books to over 20,000 children and families since its 1987 inception, has outgrown three venues [The Codman Square Library, Russell Auditorium, and William E. Reed Auditorium] before settling at the Reggie Lewis Center since 2011. “Eventually we may have to hold the book fair at the Massachusetts Convention Center,” Councillor Yancey joked.

  Councillor Yancey and his wife, Marzetta, founded and launched the Yancey Book Fair in 1987 to promote literacy and to encourage love of reading among Boston youth. “It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that we are enriching young people’s lives,” Marzetta Yancey said.

  Few realize the monumental effort taken each year by staff and volunteers in distributing the books to hundreds of children. Lynnette Frazier, Yancey’s chief of staff, said being book fair coordinator is a tough job that involves fundraising, recruiting volunteers, purchasing books from publishers and book stores, as well as ordering tee shirts and backpacks for volunteers and participants. “All the effort that our volunteers put forth in creating a successful book fair pays off when we see the gigantic smiles when the children receive their backpacks stuffed with new books,” Frazier said.

  The Yancey Book Fair, which donates thousands of surplus books to Boston Public Schools throughout the year, has also donated thousands of books to schools and libraries in Ghana, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, and Trinidad.

  Mayor Thomas Menino, speaking during the 2007 Yancey Book Fair, called the event spectacular. “This is the vision of Charles Yancey to make sure kids have books to read. Because if kids don’t, then they cannot dream and cannot think,” he said.

  Yancey Book Fair sponsors have included Comcast, Walgreens, Massport, NStar, Verizon, TJ Maxx, Stop & Shop, Houghton Mifflin, Citizen’s Bank, Sovereign Bank, NE Vending, IBEW, Prince Hall Grand Lodge, Shaws Supermarkets, Blacks In Government, Red Sox Foundation, Suffolk Construction, Clear Channel Outdoors, Mt. Washington Bank,  One United Bank, BJ’s Wholesale Club, BEVCO Associates, Boston City Council, Boston Teachers’ Union, New World Securities, McDonald’s Corporation, Mayor Thomas Menino, Attorney Donald E. Green, Boston Private Bank & Trust, AOL Time Warner Books, Coca-Cola Corporation, Charles Clemons and TOUCH 106.1 FM, Reggie Lewis Track & Field Center, and Sundance Newbridge Educational Publishing.

  Go to http://charlesyanceybookfair2013.eventbrite.com to register today. The last day to register is July 5, 2013. To volunteer, donate new books, or to make a financial contribution, call Lynnette Frazier at 617 635-3131.