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RCBF Award Recipients

2022 RCBF Inspiration Award:

Carol Johmann, Elizabeth Falk, and Kathleen Blasi 

For directing the RCBF for many years and making it better and better. Carol was director from 2003-2008, securing MCC as our hosting sponsor and starting the Festival to Go outreach program with Rochester City Schools in 2004. Elizabeth and Kathleen co-directed the RCBF from 2009-2016, winning the Writers & Books Big Pencil Award and NYSRA's Literacy Advocate Award.

2020 RCBF Appreciation Award: 


For being our most generous annual sponsor for many years, enabling the RCBF to reach more and more children with high quality, impactful interactions with authors and illustrators. (Though we had to cancel the in-person festival in 2020, we still sent Wegmans their award.)

2019 RCBF Inspiration Award: 

Vivian Vande Velde

For founding the RCBF 23 years prior, directing it the first five years, chairing the Festival-to-Go.

for 10 years, and leading the fund-drive that provided free books to all FtG students in 2019.

2019 RCBF Special Recognition: 

Altrusa International of Rochester

For 15 years of supporting the Festival-to-Go 


2018 RCBF Inspiration Award: 

Jane Yolen

Recognizing the publication of her 365th book and her storied career


2017 RCBF Appreciation Award: 

Monroe Community College (Dr. Anne Kress) and 292-Baby (Jim Coffey)

For being hosting sponsors of the RCBF since 2004, enabling the event to promote literacy for thousands of Rochesterians each year.


2016 RCBF Inspiration Award: 

Linda Sue Park, Salva Dut, and Vicki Schultz

For Dut’s incredible work bringing water to South Sudan; for Park’s book A Long Walk to Water, which sold over a million copies and raised over a million dollars for Water for South Sudan; and for Schultz’s fundraising efforts that led to a new RCBF well in South Sudan.

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