Tribute to Elvira Vecchione Artick and the Children's Room Fund

Photo of Elvira Artick

A bronze plaque greets visitors at the entrance to the Rey Children’s Room of the General Library, Boston Public Library. The plaque bears this message:


Elvira Vecchione Artick delighted in the wonders of children and books throughout her life. This reading center for young people has been restored in her memory by a generous contribution from her husband, Robert Artick.

June 1994


The restored Rey Children’s Room is a fitting remembrance of a remarkable woman, Elvira Louise Vecchione Artick.  Elvira was educated in the Boston Public Schools and graduated from Boston Teachers College in 1927.   Immediately Elvira embarked on a career with children and books that was destined to encompass her years in and out of the classroom.

The children Mrs. Artick reached and the books she opened to brighten their eager minds are countless. We can only guess how many Make Way for Ducklings, Charlotte’s Web or jaunty jingles by Dr. Seuss delighted youngsters, thanks to Elvira Artick. We do know that she repeatedly said, "If you can read, you can do almost anything!"   Her love of children and dedication to teaching will remain an inspiration to all that knew her.

As a student herself, Elvira virtually devoured books and learning in the Library. She took special pride that her city’s library and the Boston Teachers College were wonderfully free to all.

Elvira Louise Vecchione Artick died on March 30, 1990. With the restoration of the Rey Children’s Room in 1994, her life in the enchanted kingdom of books for children will be long remembered.

In addition to the restoration of the Rey Children’s Room, Mr. Artick also established The Children’s Room Fund. The Fund supports the on-going needs of the Central Library’s Rey Children’s Room. Contributions to The Children’s Room Fund may be made by check, payable to the Trustees of the Boston Public Library, P.O. Box 286, Boston MA 02117.  All contributions are tax deductible.

Click here for more information about the programs and services of the Children's Department.

Additional Information about Elvira Louise Artick

Elvira Louise Vecchione was born in East Boston on March 24, 1906, the third of 14 children.  She was educated in Boston Public Schools and graduated from Boston Teachers College, Class of 1927.

After her graduation from Teachers College she began temporary service as a first grade teacher. On February 8, 1928 she received a permanent appointment to the Chapman District, East Boston, where she taught elementary school for the next 16 years.  Her love of children and dedication to teaching will remain an inspiration to all that knew her.

In July 1944 Elvira married Robert Artick, who was on furlough from Army service in World War II. She resigned her position since, at that time, married women were not permitted to continue their teaching.

After the war the ban on married teachers was lifted. Mrs. Artick resumed her teaching as a substitute from 1954 to 1961. In 1964 she was appointed a provisional teacher to the Ellis Mendell School. When she passed a requisite examination, she was appointed permanent primary teacher to the fourth grade.

Mrs. Artick retired from the Boston school system in 1976 when she reached the age of seventy. Her formal career, dedicated to teaching children how to read, numbered 32 years. She counted teaching as a wonderful profession.

Elvira Artick had many nieces and nephews, and will always be loved and remembered as "Aunt Wiza".

Although Robert Artick pays tribute exclusively to his wife, it should be noted here that he shared her commitment to teaching and books. For 23 years he taught at Hyde Park High School. His subject was the very beginning, the foundation of books: PRINTING.