Celebrating 50 Years of Books for NOVA Children!
January 2022
RIF's founder Margaret McNamara, shown with students from the 1960s, based RIF on the idea that children would be more likely to read if they could choose books that appealed to them.
RIF of NOVA students from the 2020s choosing their own books -- still one of our guiding principles!
Reading is Fundamental of Northern Virginia Celebrates 50 Years...1972-2022!!!
YES! 50 Years!!! Reading Is Fundamental of Northern Virginia, Inc. -- RIF of NOVA -- can trace its beginnings back to 1972, when what is now known as the Junior League of Northern Virginia established a RIF program in the City of Alexandria. Just six years earlier, in 1966, Margaret McNamara founded the national RIF organization. While tutoring some youngsters in reading in Washington, DC, Mrs. McNamara learned that they, and most of their classmates, had never owned any books. For this former teacher, the concept behind RIF's creation was simple — children would be more motivated to read if they could choose books that appealed to them and then take those books home to keep. Freedom of choice and pride of ownership were guiding principles of RIF back then -- and still are today.

Read more about the history of RIF of NOVA on our website! Click right here! Throughout 2022, we will be celebrating 50 years of providing books to Northern Virginia children. Celebrate with us by letting us know what book you chose as a child that had an impact on you! Email us at rifnova@gmail.com.

So what WAS happening in the children's book world in 1972 when RIF of NOVA began? You may be surprised at the list! On a special new page on our website, we will count back from January through December to reach the top books. Some have stood the test of time; others not so much! Some may be books you still own!

Number 12 on the list is: The Kid Who Only Hit Homers. This children's novel about baseball was written by Matt Christopher and published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. It was the first in a series of four novels featuring a young man who is trained to play baseball by supernatural visitations from former Major League players. Does the book stand the test of fifty years? Read it and see!
NOVA RIF Book Distributions Keep Happening! Hurray!
The Fairfax County Public School PreK and Early Head Start program held December NOVA RIF book distributions with a bunch of fun! Led by Early Childhood Resource teacher Sharon Goldman, students from the PreK classroom at Hunters Woods read The Color Monster: A Story about Emotions by author/illustrator Anna Llenas and created their own monster masks. (How seriously cute is that!!!)

See a pictorial review of 2021-2022 NOVA RIF book distributions so far this academic year right here! This is how your contributions make a difference! Whoo hoo!
FCPS PreK and Early Head Start 11
Marumsco Hills 1 12.21
Marumsco Hills Elementary School's theme: Books Bring Us...Friends, Joy, Laughter... (led by NOVA RIF liaison and school librarian Julie Platt)
Bel Air 12.21
Bel Air Elementary School's Winter Festival brought new books and great fun! (led by school librarian and NOVA RIF liaison Rosanne North-Jack)
In the news...

Eighth-grader and NOVA RIF supporter Camille Fallon ran the NOVA RIF Book It For Books 2021 5K/One-Mile Run in October, AND she wrote about it for Scholastic Kids Press, where she files stories as a reporter. Meet Camille by clicking here and read her report from on the Scholastic Kids Press website here! Very cool!
Book Review:
NOVA RIF Young Ambassador and sixth grader McKenzie Watt has reviewed A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. In McKenzie's review, learn more about the book's hero Salva Dut, one of the "Lost Boys" of Sudan. After escaping civil war in Sudan via a refugee camp in Kenya, Dut started a new life in the U.S., while remaining committed to helping his native country. McKenzie's inspirational review can be found by clicking on our feature, Books 'n Blogs 'n Articles of Note. Well done and thank you, McKenzie!
Local Author Shares African Culture
Ada-Ari is passionate about sharing her Nigerian and African heritage with the world. She is also on a mission to promote diversity and inclusion in children’s literature. Her first book, The Spider’s Thin Legs, is a retelling of an Anansi story. Her next book, The Turtle’s Cracked Shell, is set for release next month and is a remix of a famous Nigerian Igbo folktale. Meet Ada-Ari in our website feature: New(ish) Books with a NOVA Connection.
Donated Books ...
... even more collected!

Giving Tuesday was more than, well, a December Tuesday at St. Louis K-8 Catholic School in Alexandria (Fairfax County). The student council there set up a book-raiser for RIF of NOVA and collected 2,000 books to share with other children in our community! How cool is that!!! A Facebook post on the school's website captured the success of this very special event. Thank you, young leaders at St. Louis School!
*Contribute online by Paypal or credit card at: https://donorbox.org/donate-to-rif-of-nova. Donate links can be found on every page of our website, too.
*Send a check to our mailbox:
P. O. Box 7012
Arlington, VA 22207-0012
How about a Celebration Gift!
That's how Janet Horwitz contributed to NOVA RIF -- in honor of her friend Sheryl Leeds, noting Sheryl's many contributions to children's education. Janet is shown on the right with Sheryl (in the feather band) at a Downton Abbey event they both attended.

Read more about gifts in someone's honor or memory right here! What a great way to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, or achievement of someone you love!
Other options to help:

*Register with smile.amazon.com. 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. The 0.5% can really add up!
*If your workplace holds a United Way campaign, designate RIF of NOVA as your chosen philanthropy. Our United Way # is 8959.

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