Thank You to Our Local Sponsors

Junior League World Of Reading Festival – FREE Community Event on April 6

World of Reading Festival

The Junior League of Greater Lakeland will be hosting its annual World Of Reading Festival in Barnett Park Saturday, April 6, 2024 from 9am – 1pm.

This FREE family event is a local tradition, loved by local moms, dads, grandparents and most importantly – KIDS!

At the World of Reading Festival you’ll find crafts, activities for kids, face painters, Will Forever Music, snacks and drinks, and a chance to meet a Featured Author. Each child that attends the event will also receive FREE books.

Where will reading take you?” at the World of Reading Festival this year??


Children who attend the World of Reading Festival will visit various spotlight tents, which will be focused on the setting or topic of the books and will make the featured story come alive. Each tent will feature a different craft or activity for the kids to create and take home.

Once each child has completed the tent activity and received a stamp on their passport, they will select a book (first come first serve) from the Spotlight Book Tent of their favorite book of the four tents and then also will select an AR book from the Junior League book area to take home for free!

There will also be face painting and more family fun.

Guest Authors

In addition to the activities and spotlight tent book giveaways, there will be two featured authors autographing and facilitating meet and greets at the event. They will also each be reading from their books twice during the event.

The featured authors for 2024 are Ciara F. Bates – author of A Simple Act of Kindness and Shelby Mander – author of Petunia the Piccolo Player.

Free Books

Children who attend the World of Reading Festival have the opportunity to pick out free books! Although there will be a huge selection available at all reading levels, note that books are all first come first serve and the selection may be more limited later in the event.

Free book opportunities include:

  • Spotlight table After children complete their passport stamp card they can select one book from the spotlight table.
  • Every child who completes their passport stamp card at the activity tents will receive one free AR book from the Junior League book area.
  • The Guest Authors will have a total of 700 free copies of their books – kids will be able to select one book from a guest author while supplies last.

Every child will leave with at least one free book!

“This event has the most profound effect on children. It’s one thing to read a book, but it’s another to meet a real, live author and learn what goes into writing a book! It plants a “can-do” seed in a child’s head.” said Mandy Middleton, a past event chair. “We are so very proud to present this event to our community. Anything that promotes a love of reading is a step in the right direction!”

Learn more about this event on the Junior League of Greater Lakeland Website.

Photos from Previous Years

Mark your calendar and make plans to bring your kids to this year’s World of Reading Festival at Barnett Park in Lakeland on April 6!

About the Junior League:

The Junior League of Greater Lakeland, Inc. is an organization of women whose mission is to advance women’s leadership for meaningful community impact through volunteer action, collaboration, and training.

JLGL members actively reach well over 10,000 families each year. Sustainers, members who have served the JLGL faithfully for decades, have left a proud legacy.  Together, all members continue to meet the needs of the community in unique and powerful ways. The Junior League of Greater Lakeland is open to women, age 22 and older, living in the greater Lakeland area. Any woman in the community is welcome and encouraged to fill out an application.

Spring Activities Guide

Check out our full Spring Activities Guide for more things to do in Lakeland, Polk County, and Central Florida from January – May. BBQ Festivals, Valentine’s Day, 5k races, seasonal events, annual favorites, SUN ‘n FUN, Easter Egg Hunts, Mother’s Day, and more.