Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Reading (about Mariachis) is Fundamental

You never know what a simple online search might bring.

Yesterday I was looking for references to The Best Mariachi in the World/El Mejor Mariachi del Mundo, and I found this press release for the Festival of International Books and Arts (FESTIBA) to be held March 22-28 at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg, a city of the Rio Grande Valley.

The press release states:

"FESTIBA is a weeklong celebration of the arts and humanities and promotes literacy and cultural awareness by providing students and the Rio Grande Valley community interactive, hands-on opportunities to experience books, theatre, storytelling, music, art, dance, and performance competitions."

Those are all good things, but I could not yet see how they related to Gustavo and his canciones.

I had to read down to the middle of the piece to find the connection, which goes something like this:

"During FESTIBA, more than 300,000 books will be distributed in more than 30 Valley schools through its partnership established last year with Reading is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF), the nation’s oldest and largest children’s and family nonprofit literacy organization. In 2008, RIF distributed 16 million books at 18,000 sites throughout the United States.

Stephen Leach, director of Government Relations and Community Outreach for RIF, said during FESTIBA Community Day March 28, visitors to the RIF tent will be able to meet Maya and Miguel from the animated PBS children’s show thanks to Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company. Children will also receive from RIF a free copy of the book 'The Best Mariachi in the World,' by J.D. Smith."

I am honored to have my book selected for distribution by such an outstanding organization, and I hope that my work will be of some small help in their mission.


SueG said...

This is amazing. And is it true you wouldn't have known if you hadn't been surfing around?

J.D. Smith said...

I'm pretty amazed myself.

I really don't think I would have known unless I had been checking. Sometimes my vanity bears fruit instead of merely making me miserable.

All this reminds me of the line in Glen Campbell's song "Like a Rhinestone Cowboy" about "getting cards and letters from people I don't even know."

Unlike a rhinestone cowboy, I am so far not getting offers coming over the phone, aside from the usual telemarketing.