A group of CSU graduate students has been working hard to promote literacy in the Fort Collins community and abroad, and their work will soon pay off with the distribution of books through World Book Night on April 23.

The Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language (TESL/TEFL) Graduate Student Association in the Department of English successfully applied to participate in World Book Night and will be distributing free books to four diverse populations in Fort Collins and Guatemala.

How it works

World Book Night was created to promote literacy in populations that don’t often read. This year, 25,000 volunteers will hand out half a million books across America. World Book Night also is observed in the UK, Ireland, and Germany, with over 2.5 million books distributed worldwide in 2012. Thirty books are selected by a panel of librarians and booksellers to be distributed during the event. Authors and publishers agree to produce the special edition books free of charge. Once the books have been selected, World Book Night invites the public to apply to organize book distribution events.

In January, the CSU TESL/TEFL Graduate Student Association received support for four World Book Night applications. Starting Tuesday, April 23, TESL/TEFL GSA students will distribute books to four diverse populations:

  • Students enrolled in the Poudre School District’s Immigrant/Migrant/Refugee Program
  • Adults working toward obtaining their GED at Fort Collins Education and Life Training Center
  • Students in the M.A. TESL/TEFL program at CSU
  • English language learners in Guatemala

“We hope that by giving novels to these populations, we can help promote literacy and a love of reading in our community and abroad,” said Kristen Foster, the graduate student who is overseeing the project.

This year’s World Book Night titles include classics such as Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, along with popular contemporary titles such as Tina Fey’s Bossypants and Percy Jackson’s The Lightning Thief.

  • View a full list of this year’s 30 book titles.

History of World Book Night

The idea for World Book Night began in England at the London Book Industry Conference in 2010. Members of the conference were trying to think of a way to encourage more adults to read and decided that the best way to promote literacy and a love of reading was for communities to give out free copies of their favorite books to populations who don’t regularly read. The date, April 23, commemorates Shakespeare’s birthday, the death of Miguel de Cervantes, and the UNESCO International Day of the Book.