Seeing a need for children’s books that featured African Americans, Indigenous Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanic Americans, Nancy Garfield-Woodbridge embarked on a journey that could highlight these essential figures in a culturally blended society. A published children’s author, Ms. Garfield-Woodbridge wrote her first book, called “The Tuesday Elephant,” in 1968. Since then, she has produced several picture story books aimed at underrepresented demographics in the literary world, such as “Stories from Around the World,” “A Bouquet of Fairy Tales,” “Poems in Exile,” and “The Islanders,” just to name a few.
Ms. Garfield-Woodbridge earned a Bachelor of Arts in literature from Bennington College in 1955. While pursuing an undergraduate degree, she worked as an editorial assistant at the Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. She continued to hone her editorial skills as a picture editor at Forbes Magazine from 1955 to 1956 and as editor-in-chief of the Gifted Child Magazine from 1957 to 1958. Subsequently, Ms. Garfield-Woodbridge joined Information Retrieval Systems as vice president, a role she held until 1972. That year she obtained a Master of Science in education from Hofstra University. In 1973, Ms. Garfield-Woodbridge became director of special projects for the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, where she was instrumental in creating handbooks for 6- to 12-year-olds. She left the nonprofit organization in 2000 to focus her efforts on publishing books.
A certified kindergarten through eighth-grade and seventh- through ninth-grade English teacher in the state of New York, Ms. Garfield-Woodbridge maintains memberships with the Academy of American Poets, the Author’s Guild, the Milford Fine Arts Council and the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). In recognition of her achievements, Ms. Garfield-Woodbridge received the Dr. John C. Sevier Award for Service to Youth with Disabilities from the YMCA-USA in 1989, and has been featured in numerous volumes of Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who in the World, and Who’s Who in America.
As someone who fell in love with writing at a young age, Ms. Garfield-Woodbridge shares this piece of advice to young people: “Never give up on what you really want.”
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