Thousands of Corcoran City residents attended a city-wide book fair where 20,000 books were available for attendees.
“It was unbelievable, we were blown away by the turnout,” said SoCalGas Public Affairs Manager Miguel Ramirez.
A few months ago, Ramirez met with Corcoran Mayor Patricia Nolen, who told him she wanted to share her love of reading with the city’s children and residents. The meeting led to an idea to connect city officials with the student-run nonprofit, Reading Heart, to host a book fair.
On August 26 that idea turned into reality when Corcoran’s weekly summer farmers’ market was turned into a community-wide book fair, taking up four city blocks with live music, raffles, food stalls, and access to 20,000 books. That’s enough books for every resident of Corcoran so there were plenty of books to go around for all. One young student loves to read so much, she happily walked away with 10 books.
“SoCalGas is proud to partner with Reading Heart to host this first-ever, city-wide book fair for the residents of Corcoran,” said Andy Carrasco, SoCalGas vice president of communications, local government and community affairs. “At SoCalGas we are dedicated to improving the quality of life in the communities we serve through giving of our time and support. This book fair energized a community and we are grateful for the partnership with Reading Heart and the City of Corcoran.”
“I started Reading Heart to share my love of reading with other children and I am beyond thrilled that we were able to provide 20,000 books—one for every resident in Corcoran—at the Book Fair. This is our largest event to date, and it would not have been possible without the generous support of SoCalGas,” said 15-year-old Danay Ferguson, who founded Reading Heart when she was 8 years old.
In the weeks leading up to the community-wide book fair, Reading Heart also hosted three book fairs at elementary schools across the city including Bret Harte Elementary, Mark Twain Elementary, and John C. Fremont Elementary.
“We are honored to have been a part of this wonderful event,” said Corcoran Mayor Patricia Nolen. “You could feel the excitement in the air when each and every Corcoran resident had the chance to pick out a book and take it home! Reading is such a critical part of shaping our children’s future, I’m so glad to have such great community partners in Reading Heart and SoCalGas that helped make this event a reality.”
To help make this event possible, SoCalGas donated $6,000 to Reading Heart to support the organization’s mission for each child to have access to books. This donation underscores SoCalGas’ commitment to not only furthering children’s education, but championing people and communities throughout our Central Valley service area.
Last year, SoCalGas donated $9.6 million to nonprofit organizations across our service area, including $2.3 million for educational causes.
Pictured at bottom: Danay Ferguson, Founder of Reading Heart, and volunteers.