Barry Ackerman and Pat Burns, co-founders of Timeless Learning Inc. and the Orange County Children's Book Festival, have been selected as Orange Coast College's 2017 Community Partners of the Year.
Ackerman and Burns co-founded the OC Children's Book Festival 14 years ago, which has brought more than 250,000 children and their families to OCC over the years. Attendees of the Festival experience a day of excitement about learning, including meeting with favorite authors and illustrators, engaging in storytelling and crafts, visiting book and food vendors, and even taking a turn on a trackless train ride around campus.
"Our goal is to inspire children to read and to love books, and judging by the longevity of the Festival and the continuing partnership with OCC, it looks like we have succeeded," says Ackerman. "We are grateful that OCC has continued this partnership which benefits so many."
Organization of the OC Children's Book Festival is 100 percent volunteer-based, and many well-known guest speakers have participated, including Jamie Lee Curtis, Molly Shannon, Buzz Aldrin and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
"We find it to be so heartwarming to have this recognition, and to be able to share that recognition with our all-volunteer team," says Burns. "The OC Children's Book Festival is a labor of love and for us to be recognized by such an established icon in the community as Orange Coast College is huge to us. We are very, very honored."