The first annual Charlotte Book Fair kicks off early on Saturday Oct. 6, the brainchild of a group that came together months ago with the goal of promoting literacy in the community in a fun and welcoming environment. The Wadsworth Estate and the streets of the Historic Wesley Heights neighborhood will be transformed into a literacy incubator for Charlotte.

The free, open-the-public fair will be an all-day family-centered event, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., at 400 South Summit Avenue.

With the theme “The Joy and Benefits of Reading — Embrace the Possibilities,” the Charlotte Book Fair will feature presentations, books, authors, storytellers, spoken-word artists, workshops, performances, food vendors, merchants and more.

Artist Tommie Robinson will present a “Literacy through Art” program. Robinson, who has been commissioned for both corporate and public artworks including murals at Time Warner Cable Arena, was awarded the 2011 Harvey B. Gantt Center Legacy Award for his contribution to the Charlotte community through art.

Featured book fair writers will include Cheris Hodges, Charlotte-based author of 13 romance novels, offering a workshop on writing and marketing your work, and Janice Curtis Greene, known as Janice the Griot, a children’s book author and nationally known story teller.

In the Charlotte community, the school system as well as nonprofits and community foundations are coming together to support students in closing the achievement gap and making the most of their educational experience. The decline of literacy is a challenge for the entire community — not just a problem of the student population. Many cannot remember the last time they enjoyed the adventure and excitement of holding and reading a book, an essential element for fostering imagination, innovation and creativity.

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