There was a beautiful energy of joy and excitement as parents, guardians, children, and community members were greeted by a small wind ensemble playing classical and popular music. Volunteers provided participants with small tote bags to house all the treasures that would be gathered from the day. The room was buzzing with the chatter of children directing their chaperones from station to station; sampling the healthy treats or working on crafts.
Every child was able to visit each table and sample the healthy food options that were available. Vendors provided farm fresh apples, salad that featured an array of ingredients and flavors, organic vegetable based popsicles, and other healthy treats. There were representatives from Oregon State University, the Black Parent Initiatives, the Urban league of Portland, and other community organizations.
The children were able to paint their own puzzle pieces, simulate an archaeological dig and walk away with a book or two. Along with free books and snacks the north Portland Library also provided entertainment including the Disney Princess Tiana who came to tie balloons in various shapes and characters like moneys, flowers, and even a sword for the little warriors. There was a hip-hop youth dance group followed by a folk music duo. Their catchy songs allowed the young people in the room to join in and cut loose on the dance floor.
The community came together with the common goal of encouraging our youth to enjoy books, eat healthy food, and explore their many talents. As one of the founding partners of the book fair, the Urban league of Portland will continue to fortify our partnership with the North Portland Library and invites many more community members and partners to join us in cultivating our youth.