YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN)- Youngstown State University’s 45th annual English Festival kicked off Wednesday morning at 9 a.m.

It runs through Friday. The event welcomes around 2,500 students and teachers from 200 schools around the our area.

Students had to read 7 books on the Festival list before attending. During the festival, they participate in a full day of competitions, activities, and get to meet authors. Each day ends in an awards ceremony. By the end of the festival, 15,000 in prizes are awarded for the student’s reading and writing accomplishments.

Kathy McPherson has been a monitor at the Festival for several years. She says she loves seeing so many students bond over books.

“I think it’s good for students to be reading. you know, nowadays, especially reading doesn’t seem to be a priority a lot of the time. So for them to actually sit down and read a book is really neat. yeah.and meet authors. how do you get better than that?” McPherson said.

Some of the books on this year’s list were “White Cat” by Holly Black, “Deadline” by Chris Crutcher, and “Snapdragon” by Kay Leyh.