Fort Bend ISD aims to promote literacy and learning with new Bookapalooza fest

Fort Bend ISD’s first-ever Bookapalooza has been in the works since before the pandemic but is now slated to bring district students together on Saturday, April 9 for literacy, learning and fun.

The book festival and comic convention will be held from 10 am to 3:30 pm at Dulles High School at 550 Dulles Ave. in Sugar Land. It is open to all district students in grades 4 to 12 and their families.

Students who enjoy comics, books, manga, anime and writing will be able to engage with other students, teachers, authors, artists and voice actors.

The district has held MatchBook! for the past eight years. Teams of six students compete using literary elements such as plot, theme, character analysis and setting to match quotes from several award-winning books to the right book.

Bookapalooza was created to broaden the competition and encourage more students to read and write, said Sharon Kamas, FBISD assistant director of science, technology, engineering and math.

“We know students love to connect over common interests and we know they love books,” Kamas said. “Bookapalooza is a perfect combination. Students will have opportunities to connect with authors and illustrators from their community and beyond, hear inspirational speakers, and engage in workshops and activities that promote literacy in a variety of forms.”

Students who love to write can benefit from workshops on building book characters, publishing and crafting authentic worlds in fictional writing. One session will even focus on writing podcasts. Some authors will share about how they got there.

Kamas said students will find there are a lot of ways to cultivate a love for reading and writing and added that the event will stimulate creativity and literacy while modeling attributes in FBISD’s profile of a graduate.

Reading, she said, is important because it can help students see different perspectives and learn more about themselves, other people and the world. “Access to books is a critical factor in determining student success.”

Students will have the opportunity to purchase books through Scholastic Book Fairs and from some local authors who will be on hand to interact with them.

Kamas said the district urges its students to read a wide range of age-appropriate materials such as comics and anime to learn about their reading preferences and self-selection, which are a part of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills assessment.

“FBISD’s profile of a graduate states we want our students to attain futures beyond what they can imagine,” Kamas said. “Bookapalooza will give them a chance to access opportunities, dream big and imagine their futures.”

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