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How An STU Alumna Is Bringing Faith-Based Books to Children During A Pandemic

By June 3, 2020Alumni

As schools temporarily closed their doors due to COVID-19, Good News! Book Fair, a national company launched in 2015 by St. Thomas University alumna Liz Lantigua ’87, opened its doors wider than ever before with online options to continue providing schools and students across the country access to fun, inspiring and entertaining books.

While volunteering at her children’s school book fair, Lantigua found that she was uncomfortable with the selection of books available to the students at the book fair. Thus, Good News! Book Fair was born.

Hundreds of students browse fun, clean and faith-based reads at The Good News! Book Fair’s first-ever school book fair in May 2015 at Saint Jerome Catholic Church & School in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

“I realized that the books for children were edgier than when I was growing up. They had a lot of depressing topics, foul language, and violence, among other things. The other volunteers and I would usually sort through the books to make sure they were appropriate for the students,” said Lantigua, children’s book author, founder and CEO of Good News! Bookfair.

After speaking with other librarians from other schools, Liz recognized there was a need. She and librarians across the country wanted a book fair that offered more wholesome, fun and age-appropriate entertaining books, as well as faith-focused books. A website later, Liz found herself yielding calls from across the country and overwhelmed by increasing demand.

The company currently has distribution centers in South Florida and Cincinnati, Ohio, and is exploring options for hubs in other cities as well. They purchase from top secular, Catholic and Christian publishers and review all content for student’s Pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade.

When COVID-19 hit, the focus shifted from the typical in-person book fair to a newfound method of sharing the Good News through the virtual world.

“Online we can reach so many other people. We’re going to places we’ve never been before,” Lantigua said. “While we specialize in juvenile literature, we are now offering more books for parents, teachers, and we have a new young adult section.”

Through their online store, Liz has brought fun, clean and faithful reads to students’ front doors through direct mail deliveries and virtual school book fairs.

“We want to inspire students to read more, laugh more, learn and to grow in their faith and in their relationship with God each day. That is why we do what we do,” Lantigua said.

Good News! Book Fair will continue to offer the excitement of live action book fairs as soon as schools reopen. Additionally, virtual book fairs and more online options are here to stay so they can continue to meet the demand.

Liz Lantigua is an active STU alumna and continues to give back to St. Thomas University in several ways. Read about a STU Bobcats experience interning with her and The Good News! Book Fair here!

Michelle Tulande

Author Michelle Tulande

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