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A Community Service Itiniative by the Miss vaf pageant

For over 100 years, the Virginia Association of Fairs has served the citizens of communities across the Commonwealth of Virginia through representation, education, and direction, and by providing information to increase the growth, development, and overall quality of life of Virginians and their counties. Since 1953, young ladies from across Virginia have represented their local fair titles at the annual VAF conference with the hopes of winning the coveted title of Miss State Fair of Virginia and Miss Virginia Association of Fairs. In keeping with the goals of the association, the pageant strives to make a difference in the lives of its contestants by providing over $9,000 in college scholarships annually. And, it encourages these intelligent, motivated young ladies to pay it forward and make a difference in the lives of those around them through their community service initiatives.

In 2018, the Miss Virginia Association of Fairs Pageant launched a pageant-wide community service project, which has collected over 40,000 books to this day! In keeping with our focus on the importance of education, each contestant is encouraged to participate in "Read to Succeed". Please consider bringing new books suitable for pre-K, kindergarten, or 1st graders. In the front of the book, please include your name and title. The goal of "Read to Succeed" is to place a book on every desk of every new kindergartner on the first day of school at the elementary school of our new Miss VAF. As you prepare for Miss VAF, keep your eyes open in the dollar stores, stores like Walmart, Big Lots, and Roses, and in the bargain section of bookstores. Directors and pageant volunteers, please feel free to join our contestants and our pageant staff in making "Read to Succeed" a reality.

"Read to Succeed" is a worthwhile project to share in your own counties. Imagine how many books you could collect for a local school by asking your contestants to donate a book at pageant registration. The facts are clear. Children who are read to at home have a greater chance of succeeding in school, but only half of all children 3-5 years old are read to every day. This percentage drops significantly in poverty-stricken areas. Children who are exposed to books at an early age are twice as likely to start school knowing the alphabet. They will likely know how to count to 20 and to write their name. It has been said, "Be the change you want to see in society". Let's  work together to help our young Virginians to succeed through the knowledge and love of reading. Just think - you might provide the first book a child has ever held in his or her hands.

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