top of page

A Passion for AIBF - Barbara Heggenstaller

Imagine an elementary auditorium or library in any of Nassau County’s public schools...

Barbara with students at Southside Elementary 2019
Barbara with students at Southside Elementary 2019

Now bring to mind dozens of five and six year olds, those just learning to read, listening with rapt attention as a well-known children’s author shares how she came to write a book that these children have recently read and now own. What a delightful snapshot of learning in progress.

Often people ask me why I am so passionate about the Amelia Island Book Festival. It takes little thought for me to answer that question. As a retired English teacher, for thirty-five years I watched middle school children struggle with reading. Those who knew how to read were the lucky ones. They may have come from literate families who valued the written word and the unending worlds it opens to children. But those not blessed with a world where adults modeled strong reading habits, were left behind.

I believe the Amelia Island Book Festival fosters the love of reading and of learning by

presenting a new, often author-signed book, to ALL children of all ages.

As literate adults we must promote that love for exploration through the written word. We must ensure that generations to come will have every opportunity to develop the skills needed to be successful, happy adults. We must continue to make a conscious commitment to encourage progress.

The Amelia Island Book Festival is but a small piece of a child’s experience, but an important

step along the way.

“The more that you 


the more things you will 


The more that you 


the more places you’ll


- Dr. Seuss

Barbara Heggenstaller is an AIBF Board Member


bottom of page