The Importance of Children's Books in Critical Times
June 2020
Conversations About Racism -- Children's Books Can Help

Many families are talking about racism in light of current events. Children's books can help. In this Washington Post Perspective article by freelance writer Jason Basa Nemec (originally published in 2019 and linked here), the author cites several ways to talk to children about this important issue. Diverse books can also help. The links below only scratch the surface but offer a start to get conversations going. (image:
Black-owned bookstores are a great source of reading materials. Two are in our area: Harambee Books and Artworks in Old Town, Alexandria and Anacostia's Mahogany Books, owned by RIF of NOVA advisory board member Ramunda Young and her husband Derreck. Click here to watch a June 3 NBC4 story about Mahogany Books.
Coronavirus School Closures Could Cause Epic Slide In Math And Literacy Skills ...

Students generally lose math and reading skills during the summer months in what is called the "summer slide." Due to coronavirus school closures all spring, students could be losing even more -- 30% of reading gains and 50% of math skills -- according to a new report by the Northwest Evaluation Association. And, according to Bill Gates, who appeared on the CNBC program Squawk Box, “low-income kids will be hurt the most by these school closures.”

However, rather than lament the lost learning, educators say that intervention now can go a long way to keeping kids on track. Find some great ideas in this article from CNBC. Click here.
RIF of NOVA Pitches In With Mini-Distributions!

Despite the pandemic and the inability to distribute books due to school closures, RIF of NOVA volunteer board members are making sure that at least some in our community will have books during the summer. See photos below from mini-distributions at Bailey's Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences and Mount Eagle Elementary School, both in Fairfax County.
RIF of NOVA's Justina Johnson delivered a box of books at Bailey's Elementary School.
Bailey's Food Manager Bernice Opare handed out a just-provided RIF of NOVA book.
Six-year-old first-grader Diana was delighted to get her Snoopy book.
Board member Bradley Vineyard posed with son Ben, who went through his book collection and donated many bags of books. As he said, "I want someone else to enjoy them." Thank you, Ben and the Vineyard family!
And where did some of Ben's books go? Mount Eagle ES. RIF of NOVA liaison and school librarian Mary Frances Daly is shown here with several students and thank you signs expressing their delight.
Mary Frances posed with six-year-old Dayana. She took home a new bookmark, courtesy of the Oakton/Vienna Junior Volunteer League (JVL). Special thanks to JVL for its donation of books, bookmarks, and goody bags!
"Something Good To Read At Home"

When Mt. Eagle students came back to school to pick up their book bags for the year (all socially distanced, of course!), they were able to pick out a RIF-of-NOVA-supplied book for the summer. According to Mary Frances Daly, "The kids were super excited and surprised! It was a nice way to end the school year. The kids loved the choices and there were so many good ones there -- to have so many copies of the Dog Man series really made our upper grades happy!" The boy in the photo said he was "so happy to have something GOOD to read at home."
Local Library Summer Reading Programs Go Digital
Arlington Library's Summer Reading Challenge started June 1 and runs through September 4. This year, it has gone digital. Participants can sign up online, track their reading online, take part in online reading challenges, and earn raffle prizes. For every 30 days worth of reading, the Friends of the Arlington Library will donate $1.00 to the Arlington Food Assistance Center, helping those who cannot afford enough food to meet their basic needs. Click here to find out more and to sign up!
Imagine your Story is the theme of Fairfax County Library's virtual summer reading adventure. The program runs June 14 to August 14 and is open to readers from pre-K to high school. A reading gameboard helps students follow their progress and adds to the fun. Click here to find out more.
Alexandria Library's SummerQuest, Imagine your Story, started May 26 and runs through September 6. Through games and other challenges, children from birth through high school can earn points leading to a free book. Find out more here.
Prince William County Library's summer reading program is up and going, too, running from June 15 to August 15! Details can be found by clicking the video link below. Very cool!!!
$3 = One Book for a Deserving NOVA Child
Can you Spare $3? Or $6? Or $30? Or more?
Books are more critical now than ever!
How can YOU help? PLEASE!!!!
* Through June 30!!!! Attention Federal, postal, military, and government retirees, the Combined Federal Campaign -- CFC -- has opened a special solicitation period through June 30, 2020. RIF of NOVA is part of the campaign. The great news is that one hundred percent (100%!!!) of the gifts made in this campaign will go to charities (like us) without a distribution fee. Please click here and find us by name or by typing in our CFC number: #18818 .

* 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 !

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