Each Spring, the Junior League of Greater Lakeland takes children on a journey around the world by bringing their favorite literary adventures to life.
World of Reading is an annual event that is hosted every April in Barnett Park, located in Downtown Lakeland. What started more than twelve years ago as an small town family event has quickly grown into one of the League’s largest community events – drawing thousands of families to downtown Lakeland every year.
The goal of World of Reading is to encourage imaginative play and creation, as well as put books in the hands of the children in our community – all for free. Tents are set up throughout Barnett Park. Each tent features a craft for children to create and take home with them. Once each child has completed a tent activity and received a stamp on their “passport” throughout the event, they are able to select a book (first come first serve) from the Spotlight Book Tent. Within this tent, children can select their favorite book of the four tents and then also will be able to select an AR book from the Junior League book area to take home for free.
Children’s musical guru, Jack Hartmann, will perform at the event, along with face painting and balloon artists for even more family fun.
In addition to the activities and spotlight tent book giveaways, there are music and games, snacks, entertainment, face painting and more. Two featured authors also come and autograph and facilitate meet and greets at the event. While authors vary annually, they always offer signed books and give away free copies of their books to the first 700 participants. They also read from their books twice during the event.
“Where will reading take you?” is the continued theme and spotlight book tents will be focused on the setting or topic of the books. The tents will endeavor to make its featured story come alive. For more information on this year’s event, check out our Events Calendar.
Contact the World of Reading Committee if you have any questions.
This program is funded in part by a grant from the Florida’s Natural Growers Foundation, Inc. of Lake Wales, Florida.