Meeting authors...virtually!
July 2023
Meeting and Greeting -- Virtually!
At the RIF of NOVA Golden Gala in October 2022, best-selling author David Baldacci and his Wish You Well Foundation made a generous donation to support RIF of NOVA. This donation has generated a multi-year plan to bring authors and illustrators and their books to several RIF of NOVA participating schools. 

The Authors in our Community program had a "virtual" launch in May as several schools participated in Shenandoah University’s annual Children’s Literature Conference, which, among other options, offers schools virtual visits with authors and illustrators. Eighteen RIF of NOVA schools took advantage, bringing authors and illustrators to more than 118 classrooms. Read more about these virtual visits here!
Children at Dumfries Elementary School participated in a drawing lesson from author and illustrator Bob Shea.
Potomac View Elementary School students enjoyed a drawing lesson from another author/illustrator, Chris Van Dusen. After their virtual lesson, these budding artists were very proud to show off their work!
In other author news...
Meet the author of Opening Closed Doors, the Story of Josie C. Murray. It's the latest feature in our Celebrating Local Children's Authors series. In this book, aimed at fourth and fifth graders, author Linda Sittig relates the true story of Purcellville seamstress Josie Murray whose actions led to the desegration of Virginia libraries.

"I really wanted to get this story into the hands of schoolchildren," said Sittig, "because I want them to realize that one person’s power -- and courage -- has the capacity to change the world." Read more about the little known Josie Murray and the author who has brought her story to light by clicking here!
Book It For Books 5K ... is BACK!
Book It For Books is RIF of NOVA's biannual fund- and fun-raiser! And it's back on October 28, 2023 at Bluemont Park in Arlington, Virginia!

Why do we host a biannual 5K/One-Mile Run/Walk? As an organization, this is how we fund the majority of book purchases for the children we serve. So please mark the date and sign on as a sponsor or donor to this majorly fun event! Deets can be found by clicking here!
Two early sponsors have signed on already!!!
We can't wait for YOU to help, too!
Your name or business logo could be shown in our next newsletter! Email us at
New NOVA RIF Board Member Lauren Johnson
Lauren Johnson joined the NOVA RIF board in May. As she wrote: "My drive is to have a positive impact on each student’s literacy success, and I welcome the chance to collaborate with the board, community partners, and school leaders to support getting books into the hands of those who need them the most." Lauren has held many roles -- from middle school English and reading teacher, to teaching college reading, to her newest role as Assistant Principal of Arlington's Dorothy Hamm Middle School. Read more about Lauren's background right here! Welcome Lauren!!!
Speaking of board members...
Several were honored at the annual RIF of NOVA end-of-school-year celebration, as were five liaisons from the five different areas we serve throughout Northern Virginia. Our liaisons are the critical link between the books NOVA RIF provides and the students who are able to choose books of their own.

More board award photos may be found here. Additional liaison award photos may be found by clicking here. Congratulations to all winners whose help and dedication allow RIF of NOVA to provide books to deserving children in our community!
The annual McNamara Award was given to Golden Gala chair Bradley Vineyard, at right in the photo above with NOVA RIF president Justina Johnson. Due to Bradley's imagination and drive, the 50th anniversary Golden Gala -- One for the Books -- was a tremendous success, raising critical funding and attention to the cause of children's reading in our community. The award is named in honor of Reading is Fundamental's founder, Margaret McNamara.

The Jerry Shelton Award, named in memory of longtime supporter Jerry Shelton, was given to RIF of NOVA president Justina Johnson. She has served the board in many capacities -- as president, in a variety of committee chair roles, and as a dedicated supporter and inspiring leader who contributes in every way to promote literacy for NOVA kids.

Congratulations to all 2022-2023 honorees!
The 2022-23 liaison winners were:

Marci Hoyt -- Hutchison Elementary, Fairfax West, shown above with principal Sarah Aiello (l) and assistant principal Steven Wilson (r)
Sharon Nottingham -- Marumsco Hills Elementary, Prince William County
Amy Hailey -- Language Arts, Arlington Eileen Findley -- Groveton Elementary, Fairfax East
Leslie Broughton -- James K. Polk Elementary, Alexandria, shown below with principal Carla Carter

Each awardee received a bucket of children's books to augment the school library or school programming.
Books in the Community -- Popsicles in the Park!
Popsicles in the Park! What a great July event, with popsicles, story reading, and NOVA RIF books given to Carlin Springs Elementary School children and families. School leadership was all in, as shown in the photo at the RIF of NOVA table, with great support from principal Carmen De La Cruz Scales (l), librarian and NOVA RIF liaison Holly Nisco (m), and AP Enis Al Majeed!

Books given as part of our Books in the Community program come from YOU, our supporters in Northern Virginia! If you are interested in donating new or very gently used children's books or in setting up a book drive to do so, we have guidelines to make the process easier. The guidelines can be found on our Give Books website page. Click here to find the details!

If you'd like to give a donation in memory or in celebration of a special person, please let us know at Through such a gift, the love of reading, books, and literature can be passed to a new generation of young readers in the Northern Virginia 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
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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