Votes for Women -- Votes for Books!
August 2020
Votes for Women -- Votes for Books!

In 1918, just as many U.S. women were about to achieve their dream — the right to vote — the flu pandemic struck, killing thousands and almost derailing seven decades of suffrage work. How did women triumph anyway? They turned to letter-writing and other grassroots efforts to move the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution across the finish line and into law.

More than 100 years later, our country is again living through a pandemic. Inspired by the suffragists who had to pivot to reach their goal, RIF of NOVA is pivoting, too. We are working in inventive ways with school partners to reach the children in our community who need books the most.
RIF of NOVA's Justina Johnson delivered a box of books at Bailey's Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences. Additional book events are scheduled at Bailey's and other RIF of NOVA schools in the coming weeks.
Carlin Springs ES Community School Coordinator Carol Sabatino (l) facilitated a book donation event for Carlin Springs families, with participation from board members Lisa Keathley (m) and Justina Johnson (r).
However…we cannot do this without your help!

Part One: The 2020 Appeal...

Our appeal begins on August 18, 2020, the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment’s ratification day and runs through November 3, Election Day. During this period, we are asking you to contribute to RIF of NOVA in any amount you can. Your donation will support books for deserving children in the City of Alexandria, and in Arlington, Fairfax, and Prince William counties.

Remember...$3.00 = one book = one child with a book of his or her own!

Part Two: Vote for a special woman in your life...

In addition, in honor of the suffragists, please tell us in a few sentences about a woman who made — or makes — a difference in your life…and why. Some stories will be featured in RIF of NOVA’s newsletter, on our website, and in our social media. Ten entries will win a copy of the National Geographic book, Women, A Century of Change. Children whose stories are selected will win a copy of the book, Women Win the Vote. What better way to honor or memorialize a special woman in your life than to continue her legacy with books for children?
The gift for adult vote/story winners.
The gift for children vote/story winners.
To contribute financially:

Send a check to our post office box (address below) or go to to donate online. Please note that nominations for your favorite woman are not required but will be appreciated as part of our 19th Amendment centenary observance.
To vote, along with your contribution:

Send your vote and related story by email to: You may also vote and send your story via our website, on the Cast your Vote link under the Home page.
Your votes/stories and generous donations to the cause of literacy for children in our region will be most gratefully received.

Because of you, RIF kids will be able to have books of their own, even in a pandemic!

With sincerest thanks,
Members of the Board, Reading is Fundamental of Northern Virginia
So what woman influences or has influenced your life?
A teacher?
A coach?
Mom or Grandma?
Please tell us (in 300 words or fewer, please!) who she is or was by casting your vote in her honor or memory! How does or did she influence you? How has she changed or refocused your life? How has she inspired you to do something differently or to be more than you ever thought you might be? We hope you will stand up and VOTE for the most influential woman in your life in honor of the suffragists who worked so hard on behalf of the 19th Amendment!
One Other Thing...Got Books?

If so, this is one way RIF of NOVA is pivoting during the pandemic. If you have GENTLY used children's books -- from Pre-K to young adult (YA) -- please let us know via our email:

We will pick them up, bag them by age group for health protection, and deliver them to deserving children/families who are hungry for books to read! Friend of RIF of NOVA, Frances Wu (pictured), saw our appeal for gently used children's books and went through her book collections, as did the Smythe, Illingworth, and Solon families. It's a great way to help other kids in Covid times. Thank you, all!
Books are more critical now than ever!

According to a June New York Times article, the abrupt switch to remote learning wiped out academic gains for many students in America and widened racial and economic gaps.

"When all the impacts are taken into account, the average student could fall seven months behind academically, while black and Hispanic students could experience even greater learning losses, equivalent to 10 months for black students and nine months for Latinos" (as analyzed by McKinsey & Company).

Sooo...What can the RIF of NOVA community do to help? GIVE!

* 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. Ask us how here!

* Donate GENTLY used books. Contact us at:

Thank you for any donation -- no matter how big or small!
Please share the RAP! Forward our newsletter to your friends and anyone interested in providing books to children who need them! Subscribe here!