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Local author Vivian Vande Velde founded the RCBF in 1997, and she has organized the free Festival-To-Go program to bring the Festival to kids who might not otherwise have access.


“We recognize that these are the formative years when children are trying to settle for themselves whether reading is something fun to do or simply something grown-ups inflict on them,” Vande Velde says. She recruits volunteers from Rochester Area Children’s Writers & Illustrators to share their knowledge and enthusiasm with K-6 students at one or two Rochester City Schools each year.


The presentations are fun and informative, designed to win over even the most reluctant readers. Volunteers participate year after year because they love sharing their passion with such thoughtful, inquisitive kids. Since 2004, community service organization Altrusa International has made the Festival-To-Go even more impactful by donating hundreds of dollars in books to participating schools’ libraries each year.


Librarians or School Administrators:

If you are interested in having Festival-to-Go come to your Rochester City School next year, please contact Lucy Giglio,

Video testimonial from Principal Moniek Silas-Lee of Dr. Charles Lunsford School #19

For 2019, Rochester Children's Book Festival and Festival to Go are delighted to announce a new and exciting aspect to the Festival to Go program. Our goal is to raise enough money to provide a book for each student of each grade of each school that will be visited by Festival to Go volunteers. That is, each student would receive his or her own copy, autographed and personalized, of a book that is meaningful because it was written by or read by the author who presented to that student's class.  The students would meet the authors, who will talk about things such as how the topic was selected, what research was necessary to write or illustrate their book, and many other decisions that went into creating it--making the gift book a valuable learning tool as well as a wonderful keepsake.


To fully fund this plan, we estimate needing about $15,000/year. 

If you would like to donate to this book fund, please contact Vicki Schultz here: 

We are very grateful to have already received for this year more than $5600 in support through the Friends & Foundation of the Rochester Public Library from:

  • Donor and Library advocate Susan Brown

  • The Ruby M. Jefferson Memorial Book Fund (from the estate and family of a longtime library volunteer who wanted "to promote literacy and build self-esteem in elementary school-age children in the City of Rochester" by annually buying books and giving them at no cost to children in need)

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