Books & Budding Builders!

RIF RAP -- January 2024

AES: Books & Budding Builders!

"This is the best day of my life!"

Energy company AES, headquartered in Arlington, held a holiday book drive to provide STEM-related books for second graders at the county's Hoffman-Boston Elementary School.

After explaining what a wind turbine is and does, AES volunteer staff members led the children through a project to build a mini wind turbine of their own.

Who knew that building a wind turbine could be so much fun -- using cardboard, cups, string, glue, pipe cleaners, stickers, tape...well, the works?!!! Adding to the fun was picking a new STEM book to take home for the holidays! How absolutely COOL is this! More pics of this special event can be found by clicking here.

Said one child, "This is the best day of my life!"

AMAZON'S December Book Extravaganza

Amazon and RIF of NOVA partnered up in a major effort to put books into the hands of several thousand NOVA area children just before the 2023 holiday break. Amazon funded three new books each for all Pre-K through second grade children at an early childhood center and 14 Alexandria elementary schools (including four schools already in the NOVA RIF program -- Cora Kelly, Polk, Patrick Henry, and John Adams)! Polk children (shown below) just couldn't contain their excitement at the thought of three books each! Please click here for more about this generous Amazon gift that provided 15,000 new books for Alexandria children!

Polk Amazon distribution

Other December-to-Remember Book Distributions

RIF of NOVA's primary activity is to provide new books for 36 schools and sites in the City of Alexandria and in Arlington, Fairfax, and Prince William counties. Books are distributed by school liaisons at book celebrations throughout the school year. The pictures below capture just a few of the December distributions throughout our school communities. For more photos of these special book distributions, please click here!

"Books Bring Us Together"

John Adams Elementary: After choosing their take-home-for-the-holiday RIF of NOVA book, children at this Alexandria school could choose from a number of activities to make the learning fun! Librarian and NOVA RIF liaison Heidi Laplace set up several activity centers that included tangram puzzles, a LEGO-building challenge, maze solving, page coloring, and an "I spy" table complete with decoders. Excitement was in the air as the children had fun coming together over books and brain teasing!

"Blizzard of Books"

Dr. Charles Drew Elementary School (Arlington) started its winter book distribution with a grand entrance by Elsa from "Frozen." Elsa, aka Dora Sue Black (librarian and RIF of NOVA board member and liaison), welcomed the students to the library. As they entered, they were greeted by an indoor blizzard provided by a very cool snow machine -- followed by time to pick a NOVA RIF book to take home for the holidays!

Drew Blizzard 12.15.23

"The Legend of the Tangram"

Fourth and fifth graders at Potomac View Elementary School (Prince William County) were treated to a NOVA RIF book distribution like no other! It included a wonderful interdisciplinary activity featuring literature, vocabulary, synonyms, prediction, and mathematics.

NOVA RIF liaison Debbie Crawn began by sharing the ancient Chinese legend of the tangram. An introduction to the hands-on seven-piece tangram activity followed. Who knew how difficult it could be to form seven plastic shapes into a triangle or a square…or to pick just the right NOVA RIF book from the many offered?!

Randolph's Holiday Bonanza!

It was a fun day of book picking at Randolph Elementary School in Arlington on the day before the holiday break began. Thanks to NOVA RIF liaison Anita Van Harten Cater, there were happy faces all around!

Randolph Dec. 2023
Randolph Dec. 2023
Randolph Dec. 2023

A sincere thank you!

As we start a new year, we want to pause and thank everyone who helped us in the past year by giving funding, time, books, programming support, or all of the above. Books change lives! Every book in the hand of a child gives that child a chance to read and succeed.

The turn of the calendar also gives a chance to celebrate the lives of several children's book authors and illustrators who passed away in 2023; their works have meant so much to children and families around the world. Click on the book covers for information about three of the esteemed authors. More can be found by clicking here.

Contribute online by Paypal or credit card at: Donate links can be found on every page of our website, too. Every $4 = one book for one child!

Send a check:

Reading is Fundamental of Northern Virginia, Inc. 

P.O. Box 7012

Arlington, VA 22207-0012

Thank you for any donation -- no matter how big or small! And thank you again for being part of the RIF of NOVA community!

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