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Flushing YWCA has literacy festival

Though lesser known than its larger companion organization on Northern Boulevard, downtown Flushing’s other “Y,” the YWCA of Queens, is doing its part in “eliminating racism” and “empowering women.”
The group, founded in 1978 by nine local Korean women, announced that it will hold its 8th annual “Summer Literacy Festival” beginning on Monday, August 11, at its headquarters at 42-07 Parsons Boulevard.
Starting on Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the “Y”conducts a Book Fair which concludes with a day of entertainment, contests and refreshments on Saturday, August 16.
State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky will appear at about 11 a.m. on Saturday, to participate in “Story Time.”
“Even as a child, I have always loved to read,” Stavisky said, adding that, “When I travel to Albany, I always have a book or magazine with me. I hope that I can convey to the children at the “Y” how much fun reading can be.”
Every year, the festival hosts 300 to 500 visitors and participants in such competitions as a spelling bee for grades one through eight; a drawing contest for three- to five-year-olds and an essay writing contest for 15- to 18-year olds, according to organizers. Winners will receive gift cards from Barnes & Noble.
In addition to the competitions, events include literacy Bingo games for kids, face painting, amusements, free snacks, balloons and a puppet show from 2:30 to 3:10 p.m.
As has been the case since 2002, his year’s festivities are sponsored by HSBC bank. “We could not have continued to hold this cherished and highly anticipated event year after year if it hadn’t been for HSBC’s sponsorship and commitment to serving and improving the community,” said Kaye Min, president of the local “Y,” at a press conference announcing the festival.
“At HSBC, we believe it’s important to support the communities where we do business and where our employees live,” said Heather Nesle, a first-vice-president at the bank.
Admission to the event is free, but participants need to register. The application deadline for the spelling bee and drawing contest is Tuesday, August 12. Essay contest participants must apply by Friday, August 8.
Organizers warn that space is limited for some of the events, and entrants are selected on a “first come, first served” basis. Registration forms are available online at their web site: www.ywcaqueens.org.
Walk-in registration is conducted at their headquarters and participants must have proof of age. Prizes will be awarded to contest winners.
Call the Flushing YWCA at 718-353-4553, Ext. 15 for more information.

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