Boys Town North Florida, education and community partners come together to provide the gift of reading


What happens when you combine a book fair and a picnic? A Book-Nic! Recently, with generous support from local education and community partners, Boys Town North Florida (BTNFL) held their 3rd Annual Book Fair and Book-Nic for youth and families in the foster care, in-home family services, care coordination services, and home campus programs. The Book Fair and Book-Nic, held at BTNFL’s Art Town facility, was teeming with youth and families and hailed as a huge success. According to Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR) Senior Research Associate Dr. Latara Lampkin, “There are clear benefits (and a world of possibilities) in forging partnerships to expand when, where, how, and what students learn to support student success, particularly for afterschool and summer program initiatives.”

Project FLEX

Local education and community partners FCRR, Tallahassee Area Center of Excellence National Achievers Society, Eduprehd Research & Development Partners, Color in STEM, Maya’s Book Nook, and the Black Organization for Leadership Development not only provided services but ensured that there was a large selection of diverse books, including age-appropriate books on diversity and inclusion, for the attendees to browse over.

“We have been intentional in our efforts to forge meaningful partnerships with education and community-based organizations to enhance the educational experiences of our youth at BTNFL. I am most grateful to our partners, as well as BTNFL staff, who have supported this event over the years, all partnering to provide a range of literacy activities to enhance the academic success of youth in BTNF's care,” said Executive Director, Marcus Lampkin.

The 3rd Annual Book Fair and Book-Nic was supported through the James Dahl Endowment for Education, a fund established through community friends in honor and memory of the Jim and Kathy Dahl’s loving son James Andrews Dahl, which has been instrumental in expanding educational support and opportunities for BTNFL youth.

Boys Town is a non-profit organization that serves at-risk youth and families through an integrated continuum of care. Nationally, Boys Town reaches over 2 million people each year in local areas through their national hotline, books, online resources, and national research hospital. BTNF is one of thirteen Boys Town sites across the nation offering its own set of child and family services in the Tallahassee area since 1983. They partner with area agencies and businesses to constantly enhance the quality and variety of care they provide in the community. Every year, their programs and services touch the lives of more than 5,000 people in North Florida. The site offers treatment family homes, in-home family services, foster care, care coordination services and Common-Sense Parenting® classes.