It's Our Golden Gala -- Hope YOU Will Be There!
August 2022
Planning is heating up for RIF of NOVA's 50th anniversary Golden Gala: One for the Books! And more sponsors have signed on to help. Learn more about sponsoring this key event right here. Want to sponsor but can't make the gala? No problem! Donate! How? Please click here. Individual dinner tickets may be purchased by clicking right here! It's going to be AMAZING! We hope you will sign on to help us fund books for children as we enter our next 50 years!
When: Thursday, October 20
Where: Westwood Country Club, Vienna
What: A fun- and fundraiser to celebrate books for area children
Why: To celebrate NOVA RIF's 50 years of providing books to area children
Who: YOU!!! We need your help!
Golden Gala Headliners
Keynote Speaker: David Baldacci
Special Guest: Kwame Alexander
Emcee: Jummy Olabanji
An attorney by education, author David Baldacci writes mainly suspense novels and legal thrillers. He published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996 and, to date, has published 45 novels for adults; all have been national and international bestsellers, and several have been adapted for film and television. His novels are published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries, with 150 million copies sold worldwide. David has also published seven novels for young readers.

David is a devoted philanthropist, and his greatest efforts are dedicated to his family’s Wish You Well Foundation® that supports family and adult literacy programs in the U.S. In 2008 the Foundation partnered with Feeding America to launch Feeding Body & Mind, a program to address the connection between literacy, poverty and hunger. Through this program, more than one million new and gently used books have been collected and distributed through food banks to families in need. More about David Baldacci can be found by clicking here.
Kwame Alexander is a New York Times bestselling writer of poetry and children's fiction. His verse novel The Crossover won the 2015 Newbery Medal recognizing the year's "most distinguished contribution to American literature for children." Among his other 36 books are Swing, Becoming Muhammad Ali (coauthored with James Patterson), Rebound, and The Undefeated. The Door of No Return, book one of a new trilogy, is set to be released this fall.

In 2018, Kwame opened the Barbara E. Alexander Memorial Library and Health Clinic in Ghana, as a part of LEAP for Ghana, an international literacy program he co-founded. Please find Kwame Alexander's website by clicking here.
Jummy Olabanji co-anchors News4 Today, NBC 4's morning news program. A native of Fairfax County, Olabanji has spent most of her life in Virginia, graduating from Westfield High School in Chantilly and Virginia Tech. She has been honored for her work with two national Edward R. Murrow Awards for breaking news anchor coverage, two Virginia Associated Press Awards, and eight EMMY Awards.

Olabanji is an advocate for organ donation and sits on the board of the National Kidney Foundation. She is also a member of the National Association of Black Journalists. Find more about Jummy Olabanji by clicking here.
RIF of NOVA joined with Groveton Elementary School on August 13 for the school's annual resource fair. In addition to learning about fire safety and picking up school supplies, children were able to pick out books of their very own. Special thanks to Assistant Principal Françoise Casablanca, librarian and NOVA RIF liaison Eileen Findlay, special assistant Priscilla Karau, and a team of teachers and specialists for organizing the books into a display to rival all others!

All Bash books have been donated by you, our RIF of NOVA community! Additional Bash event photos from throughout the summer may be found by clicking here.
Photo credit (above): Michael Greene

As RIF of NOVA celebrates 50 years in 2022, we are hearing from our community of supporters!

"RSM, a global tax, advisory, and consulting firm, has been supporting RIF of NOVA since its first Book It For Books 5K fundraiser in 2016. We celebrate the organization's 50-year mark and are committed to continuing our support to an organization that is making a difference in the Northern Virginia community. When children have books of their own to read, they are better able to be successful in school and in life. Congratulations to RIF of NOVA on its golden anniversary."

-- Dan Head, Principal, RSM
"The Northern Virginia Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. congratulates RIF of NOVA on 50 years of promoting reading and literacy among children in Northern Virginia. We share your goals and appreciate your leadership and your continuing successes. Thank you for sharing it all with us via your partnership with NoVAC’s Reading Is Fundamental Committee!"

-- NoVAC Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

What WAS happening in the children's book world in 1972 when RIF of NOVA began? On a special page on our website, we are counting backward from January through December to reach the top-selling book of 1972.

Number 5 on the list, Julie of the Wolves, was written by Jean Craighead George and published by Harper in 1972. It features a young Inuk girl Miyax (also known by the non-Eskimo name Julie) who becomes lost in the Alaskan wilderness without food, shelter, or even a compass. Slowly, she is accepted by a pack of Arctic wolves and comes to love them as family. In the process, she is forced to evaluate the changes forced upon her culture from outside. The book received the 1973 Newbery Medal for the “most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.”
Introducing NOVA RIF's Young Ambassadors
for the 2022-23 School Year
RIF of NOVA's Young Ambassador Volunteer Program is continuing into its second academic year -- 2022-2023 -- with two new ambassadors! The idea is to encourage young people in our community to provide other youngsters with books and to encourage the love of reading. Meet our new Young Ambassadors below, with more info about the program here.
Ninth grader Camille Fallen fell in love with books when she was in kindergarten, and, since then, her personal library has grown exponentially. Her early collection of Magic Tree House books rapidly expanded to include The Land of Stories and The School of Good and Evil series. Through reading, Camille developed a curiosity that has served her well in both her academics, in fostering an interest in music and dance, and in broadening her knowledge of the wider world. Camille is dedicated to providing access to books so that all kids are able to develop a love for reading.
High school junior Carly Burstein plays tennis and is an editor and frequent contributor to her school newspaper. In her free time, she likes to make grilled cheese sandwiches, walk her dog Hoolie, and, of course, read. She loves fiction, especially murder mysteries, fantasy novels, and thrillers. Her favorite author is Agatha Christie and among her favorite books are The Da Vinci Code, The A.B.C. Murders, and the Percy Jackson series. As a Young Ambassador, she would like to hold book drives and help with the NOVA RIF website and newsletter.
A Mother's Gift in a Daughter's Memory
Nancy Hymes Houseknecht passed away of cancer in 2017 at the age of 47. However, her light and love of reading and books continues to shine, thanks to a memorial donation to RIF of NOVA of her collection of nearly 100 children's books. In donating the collection, mom Mary Hymes noted, "Nancy was an enthusiastic reader as a young girl and a recipient of books from RIF of NOVA at her elementary school in Alexandria."

Throughout her high school years, Nancy worked at a children’s bookstore near her home in Burke, where she became an enthusiastic book recommender and led many store activities to promote a love of reading. She continued to be a voracious reader throughout her years at Virginia Tech and into her professional life as an award-winning graphic designer at the American Shakespeare Center.
Mary hopes her daughter's cherished books "will bring as much happiness to their young recipients as they brought to Nancy." RIF of NOVA is honored to share Nancy's books with children in our community.
*Contribute online by Paypal or credit card at: 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
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. 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!
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