The Pomona Reads book festival helped encourage reading as well as provide entertainment for all ages at the Pomona Civic Center Saturday.
Along with a plethora of books to choose from for both adults and kids alike, Pomona Reads also had a full orchestra to help create an imaginative atmosphere.
The main focal point of the event was to encourage reading, especially among children.
“Reading is lifelong learning,” volunteer Anne Henderson said. “It provides whole new worlds for you.”
One of the organizations in attendance was the child development program for the Pomona Unified School District, which helps bring awareness to child development in the community by helping them in school.
Luis Valadez, a supervisor of the program, said that reading is important for children because it builds their vocabulary and desire for learning.
“I think that it is one of the biggest stages in child development,” Valadez said.
Along with reading, there was also artwork by local artists to help engage young students.
Cynthia Garcia, a Pomona resident, said her daughter is now interested in painting, but acknowledged that reading was at the center of the event for good reason.
“It provides a lot of resources to improve their vocabulary,” Garcia said.
There were panels held in the library and city council chambers to discuss a range of topics from why children should read comics to science fiction and fantasy novels for older readers.
Residents were also able to sit at the steps of city hall and listen to poetry readings.
Among children, reading has become more of a task than a hobby, city employee Adrian Valdez said.
“I think that reading has lost popularity in recent years,” he said.
Valdez helped organize the event and said students aren’t interested in reading because things like video games distract them.
But he said that an event like this helps bring people together from all parts of the city and can change the trend of reading among children.
Chris McMahan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.