College of Education / University Library

Youth Literature Festival

Engage & Volunteer

When you were younger, what was a favorite book? Did someone read bedtime stories to you? Did you experience the excitement that reading books brought to your life?

Simple things matter! Join us in supporting our children to build great experiences and memories around reading and writing. Together, let's create and cultivate a love of reading in the lives of children and youth around central Illinois' schools and communities.

Ready to get involved?

The Youth Literature Festival offers a variety of opportunities to engage with schools, kids, authors, books, and our local community: you can help as a Community Day volunteer; community groups can host an Activity Table at Community Day; drivers are needed to transport authors to schools for visits; and book donations are needed. See below for more information on all these ways to help!

Volunteers playing with selfie props

Volunteer During the Community Day Celebration

Volunteers are needed for the March 30, 2019, Community Day Celebration at the I Hotel and Conference Center. Two shifts of individuals or groups are needed to help attendees navigate the program of author presentations, hands-on activities, performances, puppetry, storytelling, and music.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Community Day Celebration at the I Hotel and Conference Center
1900 S. First Street, Champaign, Illinois, 61820


We expect approximately 1,500+ people to attend

Craft table with kids

Host an Activity Table During the Community Day Celebration

Advertise your business or organization and support schools, children and their families. Organizations, small business, clubs, and community friends are invited to host an engaging activity table during the Community Day Celebration, on Saturday, March 30, 2019.

To join us in hosting a literacy-related Activity Table, follow the link above. *Spaces are limited, first-come, first-served.

All Spaces are taken for the 2019 Youth Literature Festival.

Please, contact us to place your name to our waiting list!

Drive an Author to School

You can volunteer by driving an author during the school visits on March 28 and/or March 29, 2019 from 8 a.m.– 3:30 p.m. Interested? Click on the link below and let us know your preferences.

Please, contact us to place your name to our waiting list!

Parking: Free Parking is available at the I Hotel and Conference Center

Public Transportation: For travel information, visit the CU MTD website.

Volunteers posing with signs

You can also...

Donate Books

Not all of our public schools have funds available to purchase books and make them available for students. In order to support schools and make sure that students have books available to read before the author visits, we count to the support of donations of friends and sponsors.

If you or organization would like to make a donation of books to the Festival or to our schools, please email Franne Davis, at at the Illini Bookstore. You can find the list of books for 2019 at the Illini Bookstore website. You can also make a gift online (scroll down to Youth Literature Festival Fund) and we will purchase books for you.

Donate Gifts to Raffle

During the Festival, we will have some raffles for the children. We accept any kind of donation (pens, notebooks, gifts with your logo, new books -please see the list of recommended books above). If you have a service-based business, you may also want to offer a gift card or discounts for your services (e.g., a free week of a summer course, 5-day ballet class pass; gift certificate from your business, and so on). Please contact us with any questions.

Become a Sponsor

Are you interested in sponsoring an author or supporting the Festival? Please check out the Sponsors page.