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.
Video testimonial from Principal Moniek Silas-Lee of Dr. Charles Lunsford School #19
Since 2019, the Festival to Go has donated thousands of books to Rochester city school students. This has been made possible through the generosity of foundations, organizations, and individuals. Our goal is to always 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 or illustrator who presented to that student's class. The books provided are valuable learning tools as well as wonderful keepsakes.
If you would like to donate to this impactful program, please click the Donate button below. Thank you!