Meeting of the Society - March 21, 2009
The Randolph Caldecott Society of America (R.C.S.A.) recently held its twenty-sixth Annual General Meeting/Caldecott Birthday Celebration at the Southeast Branch Library, in St. Augustine. The purpose of the society is to bring together those people who are dedicated to the remembrance, appreciation, and promotion of the art of Randolph Caldecott (1846-1886), nineteenth-century English illustrator, artist, and sculptor. Caldecott is buried in St. Augustine's Evergreen Cemetery. His grave received the distinction of becoming a Literary Landmark site in 2005. RCSA has placed a spring floral arrangement on the Caldecott grave site.

Several greetings to the group were read from England the first being one being from Margaret Tye, chairman, UK Caldecott Society. A greeting was sent from Diane Bilby, formerly of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, who greatly assisted the Gwen and Allan Reichert in their London research of Sir Thomas Armstrong, the topic of RCSA's  current series of programs.

RCSA was very pleased to have several new members, Elizabeth Scales and Charlotte Clark. Several guests were welcomed, as well, Pauline Lockwood of St. Augustine, Cherly Dore, and Jack Doudna of Jacksonville. Attending the meeting were two members of the Southeast Branch Library staff, Cheryl Hirschi, Branch Manager, and Alyssa Gilbert, Children's Librarian. Also in attendance was  Debra Gibson,  Library System Director for St. Johns County.

Alyssa Gilbert, Children's Librarian, at the Southeast Branch Library, introduced the group to the 2009 American Library Association's Caldecott Medal winning books. The Caldecott Medals are given annually for the most distinguished American picture books for children, published during the previous year. The 2009 Caldecott Medal winning book was The House in the Night illustrated by Beth Krommes and written by Susan Marie Swanson. There were three Honor Books this year, they were: A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever, written and illustrated by Maria Frazee; How I Learned Geography, written and illustrated by Uri Shulevitz; and A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams, illustrated and by Melissa Sweet and written by Jen Bryant.

 Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, ALA awards guide parents, educators, librarians, and others in selecting the best in literary materials for youth.  Art and Anne Boccieri, Life Members of RCSA, have purchased, on behalf of the society, a set of the above books for the Randolph Caldecott Children's Room at the Main Library.  RCSA purchased an additional set of the books for the Children's Room at the Southeast Branch Library, all for the enjoyment of everyone in our community.

RCSA presents jointly with the First Coast Pilot Club an Art award, annually, to a deserving high school student in our county to support and encourage the study of Art.

Sir Thomas Armstrong (1832-1911), English Painter and Randolph Caldecott's Mentor and Best Friend, is the topic of the program series being presented by Gwen Reichert, President, RCSA. Part I, presented last year, covered the years of 1832-1881of Armstrong's life.  His years as an artist made up the major part of that program. Part II of this series, presented at this meeting, covered the next phase of Armstrong's life (1881-1898) as a married man, father, and the Director of Art at the South Kensington Museum, in London, England, which is now known as the Victoria & Albert Museum. Part III and final program in the series, is planned for next year's meeting, March 2010, and will cover the retirement years of Thomas Armstrong (1898-1911) in Abbots Langley, England.

Refreshments and meeting arrangements were provided by: Linda Ginn, Dot Taylor, Sharon Green, Mary Ford, Art & Anne Boccieri, and Gwen & Allan Reichert

Door prizes consisted of a free car wash by SOAPY WHEELS and a free session at GREEN MANUAL THERAPY.

Alyssa Gilbert during her introduction of the Caldecott Award Books

Refreshment table attended by Linda Ginn and Dot Taylor

The next society meeting is planned for March 20, 2010 at the Southeast Branch Library. Anyone interested in more information concerning the Caldecott Society or interested in joining the society is invited to contact Gwen Reichert, President or Art Boccieri, Vice President.

Anyone interested in more information concerning the Caldecott Society is invited to contact Gwen P. Reichert, President or Arthur R. Boccieri, Vice President.

Submitted by:Gwen P. Reichert, President, RCSA
Phone: 797-5686 (Home)

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