The Importance of Books...Now More Than Ever!
April 2020
Coping Books for Kids in These Tough Times*
(*It's also a critical time to support books for our kids! Read below!)

As the nation and the world grapple with the effects of COVID-19, we all know that children are affected, too. Schools are closed, sports and musical activities are stopped, children cannot play with their friends, and many are dealing with stress and anxiety as a result of the pandemic. An article by Emily Cavanagh in offers a list of 11 books that can help children with some of the issues they are facing. Read here. (photo: Getty Images)

A Mighty Girl has a list of 25 books to help children overcome anxiety, worry, and fear. Find that list here. Another list, published by, lists 17 books to help kids manage their emotions. While the list is not focused on the coronavirus specifically, the fiction and nonfiction books address coping strategies that can be useful for children any time -- especially now. Find that list here.
And please check out this new -- and free -- book for children about the COVID-19 coronavirus. Illustrated by Axel Scheffler, illustrator of The Gruffalo series, the book answers key questions in language appropriate for five- to nine-year-olds.

* What is coronavirus?
* How do you catch coronavirus?
* What happens when you catch coronavirus?
* Why are people worried about catching the coronavirus?
* Why are some places we normally go to closed?
* What can I do to help?
* What's going to happen next?

Read more about the book here and download it here.
Building a Better Reader at Hutchison

Hutchison Elementary School in Fairfax County held a RIF of NOVA book distribution before schools were closed, led by librarian and RIF of NOVA liaison Marci Hoyt. With the challenge -- What Can You Build? -- Marci and her team engaged students to use their imaginations to engineer some pretty interesting creations.

Children in younger grades were given Lego-type blocks to build their designs. The older children worked in teams using larger cardboard bricks. All took home a new RIF of NOVA book to love!
Building reading fun was never so much...FUN!!!
Building with a teammate was the BEST part!
Diverse Books Came to Life at Bailey's Elementary!

At Bailey's Elementary for the Arts and Sciences in Fairfax County, librarian and RIF of NOVA liaison Janice Perreault held an early March book distribution featuring four diverse author-illustrators, with readings of samples of their works. As Janice noted, "The focus was to increase students' awareness of the names and works of diverse author-illustrators and the job of an illustrator. For four weeks, my students observed and compared the illustrations of Grace Lin, Yuyi Morales, Jerry Pinkney, and Raúl Colón."

During Read Across America Week, the pre-K through grade two students each chose a RIF of NOVA book and then voted -- by putting pebbles in a jar -- for their favorite author-illustrator. And the winning author was...Grace Lin, with almost twice as many votes as the other authors combined! Her book, A Big Mooncake for Little Star, earned a 2019 Caldecott Honor, and an earlier work, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, won a 2010 Newbery Honor. Lin offers a podcast series called Kids Ask Authors. Find that here! Very cool!
Behind each author's bio was a pail for the "ballots," er, pebbles!
So excited to pick my RIF book!
Where do puddles go? Gonna find out!!!
Contest!!! A Little Flower Fun for Kids -- Win a Book!

Love spring flowers? We do, too! If a child in your life likes flowers, offer him or her this challenge:
1) Take a digital photo of a real flower or plant.
2) Or, draw a picture of one and then take a digital picture of the drawing.
3) Write at least three sentences about why you like that flower or plant and/or what you learned about it when you looked it up.
4) Send your photo and write-up to by no later than April 30.

Three winning entries, one each at pre-K/K, grades 1-2, and grades 3-5, will be featured in the May RIF RAP and will win an age-appropriate gardening book. It's a little spring fun for RIF of NOVA community kids!

Parents/teachers/friends, be sure to include the child's first name, age, and how you heard about this contest or are connected to RIF of NOVA. We hope to hear from you!!! Let's put a little book fun into spring!
* Books are more critical now than ever!
How can YOU help?

Schools are closed through the end of the year in Virginia, including those served by RIF of NOVA. Despite online learning and the best attempts by educators (who are heroes by anyone's standards), there will be learning loss, especially for economically disadvantaged students. According to a March article in Politico entitled, "The Lost School Year":

" The closures could mean students who are struggling to read at their grade level are promoted anyway and could struggle for years to come ."

How can you, the RIF of NOVA community, help? By your contributions to books for our kids. Please be generous because the need is critical.
* One way to give is via the Do More 24 Campaign and #GivingTuesdayNow. This year, the two efforts are being combined to make the impact of your donations even more effective. It's being called a "global day of unity during these unprecedented times."

Do More 24, sponsored by the United Way of the National Capital Area, will be held for 24 hours on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, starting at midnight and running through 11:59:59 p.m. Find RIF of NOVA's Do More profile here.
You can also give DIRECTLY to RIF of NOVA...

* Send a check to our mailbox: P.O. Box 7012, Arlington, VA 22207-0012.

* Give at any time via PayPal on the RIF of NOVA website:
* Register with . Type in Reading Is Fundamental of Northern Virginia, Inc. to select us as the charity you want to support. Amazon will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to RIF of NOVA. With all our current online ordering, the 0.5% can add up!

* If your workplace holds a United Way campaign, designate RIF of NOVA as your chosen philanthropy. Our United Way # is 8959.

* Set up a fundraiser for a birthday or anniversary on Facebook and solicit donations for RIF of NOVA.

Thank you for any donation -- no matter how big or small!
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