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November 6, 2013
We joined Literacy Connexus . . .

Four family reading fairs in four years, orchestrated by First Baptist Church Zachary, Louisiana, have blessed children, parents, churches, and schools in the Rio Grande Valley.  

This team starts their planning early, and everyone knows their assignments--but they don't operate on cruise control. Every year, they've worked with different churches and reached families in new communities. In addition to providing home libraries at each year's family reading fair, they've found a variety of ways to share Christ's love with the communities they visit.

This October they partnered with Primeria Iglesia Bautista Las Milpas to provide beginning home libraries to the 42 four-year-olds of the local Head Start Center. "It was such a blessing to minister to those children and see them going out of there with all those books," project organizer, Cindy Bergstrom said.


In addition to the Books for the Border and Beyond

project, the Zachary men worked on renovations at the Valley Baptist Retreat Center one day, while the women stuffed 600 Christmas stockings they had made prior to their arrival. The stockings will be delivered by pastors to children in colonias and across the border.



Many others contributed to the success of the Head Start family reading fair. The Rio Grande Valley Literacy Center contributed bundles of nine new books for each child, and FBC Georgetown helped meet the bookcase requirement.


The family reading fair created a ripple extending to four-year-olds across the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo school district, thanks to Principal Connie Casas, a partner in the recent Zachary FBC reading fair. Connie is planning additional reading fairs for the remaining prekindergarten classes for late November, January, and March, with high school shop classes building the bookcases for community service credit for the students.


"We're all doing the same work," Connie said, reflecting on the efforts of all those involved in the FBC Zachary Books for the
Border and Beyond project, and on those who will partner together on upcoming family reading fairs that will benefit so many more in the community.


For the asking . . .

Stop by the Literacy Connexus office in Fort Worth for resources for your church's next Books for the Border and Beyond project.

Here's what we have to offer:
  1. Hundreds of new children's books in Spanish
  2. 15 bookcases (unpainted)
  3. Cloth book bags
  4. A variety of new and used books  
  5. "Big" books in Spanish and English for reading to children
  6. 50 Ways Your Church Can Bless Your Community Through Literacy posters
  7. a cup of coffee or tea
Lester Meriwether, Executive Director 
4802 Highway 377 S., Suite 14
Fort Worth, TX 76116
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Pam Moore, Editor   

Trivia Challenge 
1. !X is a:

a) Botswana click language

b) text acronym for exciting outdoor occasion

c) twice-cooked pork Szechuan dish

d) village in Inner Mongolia  

2. After the Bible, the book available in the most translations is:

a) The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

b) The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

c) The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

d) The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi

3. The following term for something that's a cinch is one of those indistinct expressions that adds to the confoundment of English language learners:

a) alphabet soup

b) duck soup

c) pea soup

d) stone soup 

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