Happy Back to School month to all our students, teachers, parents, families and staff! Although things look a little different, the Everybody Wins DC team is so excited to engage with our students, volunteers and supporters in new and creative ways through shared reading this school year.

This month also kicks off our 2nd annual Back to School Campaign! Last year, you helped raise $4,000 to support our students. This year we’re raising the bar. More than ever before, the connections EWDC builds through reading will fill a critical gap for families while they engage in distance learning. In addition, we know that COVID-19 is having a disproportionate impact on many of the children we serve. That’s why we’re launching new and improved shared reading programs to bring the benefits of shared reading directly to their doorsteps.

Now here is the good news: we only need to raise $2,000 to beat last year’s total. Why? Thanks to the generosity of some partners and the Board, we have the potential to unlock matching funds throughout September. And the first match challenge starts right now! 

If we raise at least $250 today, Kelly – an amazing member of our Associate Board who is also an EWDC parent and mentor – will personally match that amount bringing the total to $500. Kelly also offered his thoughts about how your support impacts our work and what shared reading means to our students:
The Power of Shared Reading: Meet Kelly
I became part of the EWDC family during school year 2011-2012 when my partner and I became foster parents, and our oldest child began Kindergarten at Brent Elementary. He loved working with his reading mentor and would come home after his weekly session beaming. For him, he loved that he had an adult solely focused on him.
In future years his younger biological sisters also became involved at Brent Elementary and just like their older brother, it was something they truly enjoyed and looked forward to. In fact, our kids' memory boxes are filled with the photos of them together with their mentors over the years.
When I witnessed how much these weekly reading sessions meant to our foster children, and after adoption, our adopted children, I decided I wanted to participate as a mentor. I began reading at Tyler Elementary during the 2016-2017 school year, and this upcoming school year will be my 5th year as a reading mentor.
One year, I had the great joy of teaching a 3rd grader how to use an old-fashioned, children's dictionary: guide words and all! She made it a game for herself: "Oops, I don't know how to spell that word, so I should probably look it up, right, Mr. Kelly?!" Each year in the program has been a mix of fun, humor, joy, and naturally, some kid drama, too!
I feel so invested and committed to Everybody Wins that I serve on its Associate Board. My experience as both a mentor and a parent brings a unique perspective to the group. Additionally, our family feels so enriched by EWDC that my husband and I are issuing a $250 match challenge during the first 24 hours of the Back to School campaign.

We need your help to ensure we can do even more for our students this school year.
Thank you for your commitment to EWDC and our students!

- Kelly
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