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The Virginia Children's Book Festival creates a culture of literacy in the Commonwealth, with a focus on marginalized, and rural children.
The Virginia Children's Book Festival serves thousands of Virginia's marginalized children and their families by providing three days of free, dynamic one-on-one programs with some of the most notable authors and illustrators working today. A totally immersive experience, the VCBF introduces children to reading in a living, breathing format. Additionally, the VCBF distributes more than 10,000 books a year to rural children, establishes libraries in area juvenile detention centers and battered women's shelters, brings authors into the juvenile detention centers, and creates special programs with Virginia institutions such as our Civil Rights in Children's Literature program at the Robert Russa Moton Museum (home of the only student-led case in Brown v. Board of Education), and author placement and book distribution at the Virginia Museum for the Fine Arts' annual cultural program. Though we are located in Southside, a region where one in five adults are functionally illiterate and childhood literacy is the lowest in Virginia, our reach extends northward to Washington DC, west to Roanoke, east to Norfolk, and south to Mecklenberg County, serving all the regions of Virginia. We also have a mobile library that we take into some of the poorest and most underserved neighborhoods in our region, encouraging families to read together when books are not part of their everyday lives.