Literacy is important for people of all ages, and that is why The University of Texas-Pan American created the Festival of International Books and Arts (FESTIBA) in 2006. The mission of FESTIBA is to produce lifetime readers, promote the development of early literacy skills in children, celebrate and appreciate the arts and humanities, and broaden cultural awareness within the South Texas community, an area predominantly Hispanic.
With the lowest educational achievement and attainment rates and the highest dropout rate of any minority group, Hispanics are the only group in the U.S. whose literacy scores have decreased in the past decade (U.S. Department of Education). To address this disparity, FESTIBA strives to enhance literacy in South Texas by bringing together outstanding scholars, authors and educators in their disciplines to UTPA and the surrounding community to contribute their expertise, encourage intellectual inquiry and exchange, and improve the capacity to teach and understand the humanities. Through the support of its steadfast sponsors and patrons, including the South Texas Literacy Coalition and Reading is Fundamental (RIF), FESTIBA has successfully evolved into a regional event renowned for its advocacy of literacy and exhibition of talent and knowledge within the arts and humanities in South Texas.
With this year's theme of "Literacy and Justice for All," FESTIBA 2012 not only seeks to reduce the deficient literacy rates of Hispanics at the regional and national level, but also to benefit South Texas through events that introduce insightful ideas and creativity. In doing so, FESTIBA aspires to promote a college going culture and preserve the musical and artistic heritage of the region.
Join us in our efforts to promote literacy, the arts and humanities to our South Texas youth!