The Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival will host an additional author at the 2017 Festival, thanks to a $1,730 grant from the LGBT Giving Circle at Rochester Area Community Foundation.
The grant will underwrite the costs to bring award-winning author Nina LaCour from California to participate as a featured author at the Teen Book Festival. The goals of the festival are to connect teen readers to award-winning authors, enhance students’ reading and literacy skills and to help youth develop their potential by encouraging interaction between aspiring teen writers and established authors.
The 12th festival will be held on May 20 at Nazareth College. Founder and President of the Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival, Stephanie Squicciarini thanked the LGBT Giving Circle at a reception on Nov. 17 held for the grantees at the Strathallan Rochester Hotel, “on behalf of the thousands of teens who have come to know TBF as a safe place to be a reader and to share that enjoyment with everyone across all backgrounds, experiences, beliefs and dreams.”
LaCour has written three critically acclaimed young adult novels: “Hold Still,” “The Disenchantments” and “Everything Leads to You.” She recently collaborated with David Levithan to write a novel titled “You Know Me Well.” Her novels have been selected for the Junior Library Guild and the American Library Association’s Best Books for Young Adults lists. LaCour won the 2009 Northern California Book Award for Children’s Literature. While in Rochester, LaCour will give a talk open to the public and visit two school districts prior to the festival.
Catherine Lewis, Chair of the Grant Making Committee of the LGBT Giving Circle, stated grants totaling over $27,000 were awarded to 19 nonprofit organizations across an eight-county region to support a broad array of social service, cultural and LGBT rights projects. A crucial priority is reaching youth and celebrating the varied culture of the LGBT community. Bringing an author whose work includes LGBT characters and themes to the Teen Book Festival will “help make a real difference in the quality of life for LGBT individuals and the community at large,” said Angela Bonazinga, co-chair of the Giving Circle. The circle was established at the Community Foundation by a group of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and allies. In just five years, the circle has distributed more than $100,000 in grants and raised more than $100,000 for its endowment.
The mission of the TBFl is to foster a community effort to celebrate and promote reading by connecting teens and authors. Students and adults interested in volunteering for the festival may sign up in February at teenbookfest.org.