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Payson Roundup promoting literacy

By Marie Fasano
Rim Country’s Chapter Secretary, Arizona Professional Writers

For the fourth year the Payson Book Festival, a major literary event in ­Northern Arizona, has had as its main media sponsor the Payson Roundup. When Gary Tackett, General ­Manager was asked why they continue to ­support the Festival, he said. “An ­informed readership is important. We are a big fan of the Payson Book Festival and we want to partner with them.”

The Payson Book Festival, July 21, 2018 will showcase 80 Arizona authors as a celebration of books for all ages. The festival at the Mazatzal Casino in Payson promotes literacy with the theme “Reading takes us to ­amazing places.” The mission of the festival ­presenters, Arizona Professional ­Writers Rim Country Chapter and Majestic Rim Retirement Living is to enhance the love of reading by providing a friendly environment that encourages personal interaction between Arizona authors and their readers of all ages. They have many award winning authors. A favorite is Buckshot Dot, an Arizona Culture Keeper, who entrances visitors with her cowboy poetry and songs.

Pete Aleshire, Editor In Chief of the Payson Roundup encourages authors from the Arizona Professional Writers, Rim Country Chapter to share their ­stories in the newspaper.

Teresa McQuery, long time reporter for the Payson Roundup, has always been helpful in getting the information to the Roundup’s readers. Teresa often shares her excellent ideas on the best way  to present the Festival. 

The Payson Roundup supplies local schools with 150 papers per edition. Studies show that newspapers, read at home , or used as a learning tool at schools, help readers of all ages improve language skills. Gary Tackett said, “Most people I respect learned to read at an early age and they ­support reading programs.” The ­Festival ­encourages participation by children with story times throughout the day provided by Story Monster, Cat in the Hat, First Things First, Rim Country Literacy and Read On Arizona. The goal is to help young children build skills they need to become successful ­readers now, while laying the ­foundation for lifelong literacy.

A free ticket for prize drawings throughout the day will be given to every visitor. Arizona authors and businesses from Rim Country have donated some exceptional gifts for a silent auction, as well. Visitors to the Payson Book Festival enjoy a full schedule of workshops with many of their favorite authors presenting the inside story about the writing craft.

Come spend July 21, a lovely ­summer day, in the cool mountain town of ­Payson.

For more information visit: www.paysonbookfestival.org.