Meeting of the Society - 3/31/2012

The Randolph Caldecott Society of America (R.C.S.A.) recently held its twenty-ninth 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 places a spring floral arrangement on the Caldecott gravesite every year.

Kristine Benoit, Youth Services Librarian, at the Southeast Branch Library, introduced the group to the 2012 American Library Association's Caldecott Medal winning books. The Caldecott Medal is given annually for the most distinguished American picture books for children, published during the previous year. The 2012 Caldecott Medal winning book is A Ball For Daisy, written and illustrated by Chris Raschka. The three honor books are Blackout, by John Rocko Grandpa Green, by Lane Smith and Me . . . Jane, by Patrick McDonnell.

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, for the enjoyment of everyone in our community.

Tributes to Gwen P. Reichert, founding president of RCSA, were read and donations in Gwen's honor were acknowledged. Gwen passed away in December of 2011. Condolences were received from England, Canada and throughout the United States.

During the business meeting, money was appropriated for repair to the Caldecott gravesite at Evergreen Cemetery.

A collection was taken to assist the Friends of the Library to purchase two Caldecott prints to be placed with a plaque in memory of Gwen in the Caldecott Room at the Main Branch of the library.

Sol Hirsch, retired assistant director of the St. Johns County Public Library system, addressed the society with the concept of annually bringing in to St. Augustine the winner of the Caldecott Award to make a presentation. Further discussion resulted in interest from the membership in pursuing the possibility of working with other agencies and educational institutions to develop it into a literary conference which would be held annually in St. Augustine.

Refreshments and arrangements were provided by Allan Reichert, Sharon Green, Dot Taylor, Linda Ginn, Pat Doudna, Joan Scopinich and Anne and Art Boccieri. Door prizes were provided by John and Linda Crotty and Allan Reichert.

Next year's annual meeting is tentatively scheduled for March 23, 2013.

Kristine Benoit during her introduction of the Caldecott Award Books

Refreshment table attended byLinda Ginn and Dot Taylor


Anyone interested in more information concerning the Caldecott Society is invited to contact Allan C. Reichert, Treasurer or Arthur R. Boccieri, Acting President.

Submitted by: Arthur R. Boccieri, Acting President, RCSA
Phone: 824-3708 (Home)

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