ROCHESTER, NY – For the first time ever, the Rochester Children’s Book Festival hosted the celebration at Rochester Institute of Technology, where area authors and organizations worked to bring the love of reading to more people. public school children in the city.
“One of the other leaders of the Rochester Children’s Book Festival said, you know, ‘I see a lot of suburban kids here,’ and she wanted to bring it to schools in the city,” Vivian said. Vande Velde, a local author and coordinator of Festival to Go.
The idea of a mobile “festival to go” as a way to bring books to children in low-income schools emerged in 2004. With help from Altrusa International of Rochester, a nonprofit organization focused on community service and literacy, the goal has expanded to bring books to the city’s public school libraries in hopes of reaching even more children.
“If we can get books out and get them into the hands of the kids, hopefully someone in the house will start reading them,” said Liz Finnegan, a member of Altrusa International from Rochester.
And in an effort to provide as many books to as many children as possible, Altrusa has partnered with the Rochester Children’s Book Festival to host a used book drive at the event to continue accumulating as many books as possible to donate to the city. school libraries.
“Librarians and teachers were telling us that the kids, after seeing the authors, were really excited to come to the library and pull out the books,” Finnegan said.
“A lot of suburban kids, suburban parents and their loved ones, are really eager to get books into kids’ hands,” Vande Velde said. “Sometimes parents in town, it can be a single parent situation, it can be a two or three job situation, where the parent doesn’t necessarily have the time to do that.”
This has made collecting books important not only for school libraries, but also for the future of the children housed there.
“Read to your children,” Finnegan said. “Once they learn to read, they can do almost anything.”