Book Fiesta 2016 was a huge success! Thank you to all who contributed to that success by volunteering time and resources. The ELLA team is continually thankful and inspired by the overwhelming support of the community!

Book Fiesta is a literacy event in our neighborhood celebrating Children’s Day/World Book Day, and is based on the picture book, ‘Book Fiesta’ written by Pat Mora and illustrated by Rafael Lopez.

In this book, children celebrate Children’s day by reading stories with their friends and families in a series of magical settings painted by Lopez. We wanted kids and their families to experience this book in tactile ways, so we are creating larger than life decorations based on the book’s illustrations, having read alouds with some of our favorite picture books, and facilitating fun activities based on our book selection.

These activities were designed to engage whole families across various cultural backgrounds, and our hope was to see neighbors and families all joining in to play and read together, getting to know other neighbors, and creating habits of play that bring their families together and help our little ones learn and grow. We were blown away! It was awesome to see our neighborhood coming together to play and spread beauty! Thanks for coming to play with us!

This event was made possible through a grant from Causeway, a Chattanooga non-profit that “inspires and equips Chattanoogans to develop smarter solutions to our city’s toughest challenges.”  They are a tremendous resource for our city, and they were incredible partners to work with along the way. Thank you, Causeway, for the grant and the coaching to help make this a reality!

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*Photos thanks to East Lake photographer/cinematographer extraordinaire, Kelly Lacy!
See more of his work at

The ELLAfamily
Jared & Audrey Menard, Jazmine & Jimmey LeBlanc, and Jessica & Pablo Mazariegos