Each year, OCRA, on behalf of the International LIteracy Association, presents the Celebrate Literacy Award to a person, organization or program that specifically targets the promotion of literacy in our community. This year we presented the award to the Orange County Children’s Book Festival.
The festival was cofounded in 2004 by Pat Burns, and Barry Ackerman, and is the largest free children’s book festival in the world, one of the premier book festivals in the United States and the only all children’s book festival in California. It is held each year on the campus of Orange Coast College. Over the past eleven years it has grown from 5,00 to 35,000 attendees.
The Children’s Book Festival promotes literacy by featuring books and activities for kids in Orange County. This includes top children authors and illustrators in the country, storytellers, entertainers and an abundance of activities that can be shared with children and their families.
Pat Burns is the Executive Director and cofounder of the festival. She is also a published author. Event planning has been part of her 30 year career. She gives countless workshops to business groups on sales, marketing, management and leadership. Pat graduated from Tustin High School and Chapman University.
Barry Ackerman is the Executive Producer and cofounder of the festival. He has been involved in the conference and festival industry for over 30 years. As a founder and CEO of InfoMediz/InfoMedia, he has created the largest conference recording company in the industry. Barry and his wife have been residents of Orange County for over 45 years. His children are also very involved in marketing, web design and promoting the event through the internet.
The award was accepted by Pat Burns, and board member Sharon McCubbin, for Barry Ackerman.