Votes for Women -- Votes for Books!
Appeal Deadline -- November 3!!!
October 2020
The Suffragist Playbook -- A Guide for Today's Activists
Zowie! What a perfect read for the centennial celebration of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. And it could not be more relevant to RIF of NOVA's 2020 Appeal: Votes for Women -- Votes for Books! Our appeal continues through November 3.
Geared to readers 12 and up, The Suffragist Playbook reviews a movement that was decades in the making. From moments of inspiration to some of the movement’s darker aspects — including the racism of some suffragist leaders, violence against picketers, and hunger strikes in jail — this review takes in the roles of key figures: Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Frances Willard, Ida B. Wells, Alice Paul, and many more. Their years-long efforts resulted in a permanent victory -- women’s right to vote -- enshrined in the U.S. Constitution as the 19th Amendment.

The book was written and is narrated by Lucinda Robb and Rebecca Boggs Roberts. Their friendship goes back generations, to their grandmothers, Lady Bird Johnson and Lindy Boggs, and their mothers, Lynda Robb and Cokie Roberts. Their goal in writing the book is to capture the attention of activists-in-the-making today!
In the words of the authors:

Our foremothers didn’t just make the world a better place; they left future generations an arsenal of tactics to achieve their goals. Starting with virtually no political power or public support, a diverse group of suffragists effected the largest single change to American democracy, without resorting to armed rebellion or overthrowing the government. They were fearless, creative, tenacious, and radical. They were also, just as we are today, deeply flawed and human. We find that liberating. You don’t have to be perfect to make the world a better place; you just have to step up. (Photo of Lucinda Robb: Karen Kasmauski)
Co-author Rebecca Boggs Roberts talked about the suffragists and what current generations can learn about activism at this Vimeo link. Click the thumbnail and take a listen!

Both authors appeared in a National Archives discussion in August. To see that interview, click here.
Your Votes for Inspirational Women are Being Counted!
As part of our 2020 appeal, we have asked you to vote for and send in stories about a woman who inspires or inspired you. Many of you have responded with amazing stories of love, dedication, and support. So far, votes have gone to grandmothers, mothers, daughters, friends, and colleagues. Read some of their stories below, with more on our website at this link:

If you would like to vote for an inspirational woman in your life -- a teacher, mom, coach, colleague, neighbor -- please email us your story or go to our website and cast your vote! Ten entries will win the National Geographic book Women, The National Geographic Image Collection! Children who vote can win a book, too. Please go to our website to find out more!
From Sheryl Leeds:

My two mothers are my heroes! Last March, I discovered who my birth mother was, when her children and I connected on a DNA site. I had always known I was adopted, but imagine my shock when I found out that Laura, my aunt, was also my birth mother! She had to give me up because of illness, and her brother (my biological uncle) and his wife Ricky adopted my at birth because Laura could not take care of me. It was a family secret that my parents never shared with me. The sisters-in-law are in this picture, several years before my birth, Laura on the left and Ricky on the right.

Laura is my hero because she gave me up, knowing I would have a better life with her brother and his wife. Ricky is my hero because she raised me with unconditional love. Both made me the person I am today, and I will always be grateful to them both.
From Linda Goldberg:

Susan Akroyd has been a friend and colleague for years. She was the principal at Parklawn Elementary School for over 30 years, and prior to that she was an amazing reading teacher. Parklawn is a very diverse school with many ESL students. Her school participated in RIF in the early days. When RIF lost (federal) funding, so did Parklawn.

She and her staff had a significant outreach to the community, and she ensured that the best training and technology was available to her teachers. She was a long-term member of the Greater Washington Reading Council and served on their board. Her school won the National Title I Distinguished School Award. Her women's club participated in Baby Bundles, delivering books to parents of newborns in the community. She collected books in the community so the school could give them out to the children.

First Lady Barbara Bush visited Parklawn Elementary School. In the photo above, Susan Akroyd is in the middle, surrounded by other teachers and faculty.
From Robert Smith:

I cast my vote in honor of my daughter, Heather Feagins (shown in the photo teaching a 4th grade student behind a protective Covid shield). Heather teaches in Texas and is one of my daughters. She holds a Masters in reading and certification as a reading specialist. She also holds certifications in special education and ESOL.

Her greatest love is teaching reading and developing enthusiasm for reading and writing among her students. She is in her 26th year of teaching, 21 of which have been at Shadow Forest Elementary School in the Humble Independent School District. She also taught at Jenkins Elementary School in the Spring Independent School District for five years, and was chosen as a teacher of the year in both schools.
Thank you for sharing your stories!
From Audrey June:

I vote in memory of my mom, Elinor P. Williams. Every time I engage in my favorite hobby — READING! —
I think of my mom. She read countless books to me as a child and taught me to read before I went to kindergarten. I’ve been making my way through stacks of books ever since.

My mom also instilled in me a love for my favorite repository of books: public libraries. For nearly 30 years, she worked as a reference librarian in the public library system in the city where I grew up. I was fascinated by the work she did and because I was at the library so much, I always felt like it was my second home. Even today, public libraries are my happy place, in part because they bring to mind fond memories of my mom.

I’m so thankful for the groundwork she laid for me to become an avid reader. Passing along her love of reading was one of her greatest gifts to me. I know that without that gift — and her unconditional love — I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
November 3 is not only Election Day in the U.S. Our 2020 appeal deadline is Election Day, November 3, too!
Please help us provide books to children in our community with a generous donation. We are an all-volunteer nonprofit so every dollar funds books for kids. You will not get repeat mailings, gift calendars, or return address stickers from us! We are 100% about books for RIF of NOVA children!!!
What does a RIF of NOVA book mean? It turns out the impact can last for a lifetime!
Just listen to Bailey's Elementary School resource teacher/librarian, Julie Roach, at a book distribution at Bailey's earlier this fall. She was a RIF book recipient as a child in Pennsylvania -- who kept and now reads one of her favorite RIF books to her own child!

**Contribute online by Paypal or credit card at:

**Send a check to our mailbox:
P. O. Box 7012
Arlington, VA 22207-0012
Your dollars are helping children especially during the pandemic when access to books has been severely curtailed for so many. See recent pics by clicking here!!!
$3.00 = one book = one child!!!
Thanks to the 93 donors who have contributed so far!
Could the next donor be...YOU?!!!
To contribute books during the pandemic:

Donate GENTLY used books (as like-new as possible!). Contact us at, and we will arrange to pick them up.
Fifth grader McKenzie Watt plans on being an author when she grows up. When she learned that some children do not have books in their homes, she set up an organization, Kenzie’s Kids, to collect new and gently used children’s books to distribute to children in the local community. With a donation of 250 books to RIF of NOVA, McKenzie will have given nearly 2,000 books to local charities serving children this year! Zowie!
Others on the book donor honor list...
Long-time RIF of NOVA supporter and retired Arlington teacher Penny Holland contributed books from grandsons Simon, 9th grade, and Ben, 7th grade.
Advisory board member Ruby Osia had several gently used books to give!
Amy Waller gave several of her sons' favorite books. "I hated to part with them," she said. "But I was glad to know other children would be able to love them, too."
Other options to help:

*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 really add up!
*Set up a fundraiser for a birthday or anniversary on Facebook and solicit donations for RIF of NOVA. Ask us how by sending an email here!

*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!
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