The National Youth Book Conference, Inc. is a charitable program founded by Curtis Bunn, a journalist and author who in 2003 also founded the National Book Club Conference, which grew into the leading annual literary event featuring African-American authors and readers. With program manager Felita Bunn at the helm and committee members and accomplished educators from various backgrounds, the NYBC hosts one-day conferences in schools that reinforce the power of reading to youths.
The NYBC program is multi-tiered to make the maximum impact. First, we bring in dynamic authors of children’s and young adult relatable books to read to the students, which, in many cases, will be the child’s first exposure to an author that looks like them. This element of the program is designed to show them the possibilities.
The next phase is the reading of the book and afterward, the author-led discussion, which provides invaluable and inspiring insight to assess the youths’ comprehension of the story.
Additionally, the authors will sign each book to each child, which in many cases will be the first book they have ever had autographed to them—making it a treasured possession. It also will be a book that either starts or adds to their personal library, which the NYBC will help grow. Ultimately, the NYBC program, in a fun and interactive way, shows youths what and who they can become, while exposing them to authors who look like them and compelling, informative, and enlightening stories that highlight the value of reading; grants them autographed books that add to or start their personal library … all the while building avid readers.