Tutus & Soccer & Rainbows & More!

RIF RAP -- March 2024

"Everyone, Just Like Me"

When Carylee Carrington's then five-year-old son came home from school one day, he had something important to tell his mom: his classmates said he should play only with children of the same skin color. So this mom went into action...and wrote a book!!! Everyone, Just Like Me encourages kids to realize that individual differences are what make each person special.

That was the theme of author Carrington's presentation to students at Potomac View ES (PWC) on February 22 -- as part of the NOVA RIF Authors in Our Schools program, sponsored by a grant from author David Baldacci and his wife Michelle Baldacci. The self-described "Tutu Queen of Northern Virginia" has published three books to date and is a stalwart advocate for diversity in children's literature.

Before a crowd of excited 3rd and 4th graders, Carylee Carrington spoke about everyone's uniqueness. As each child left the gym with an autographed book and a bookmark, one child exclaimed, "You are the best in the north, south, east, and west!"

NOVA RIF liaison Debbie Crawn noted, "After you left, the conversations about being yourself and befriending everyone were amazing! Thank you for helping to confirm to our students that they are each special, and different, and truly amazing!!!"

Carylee recently appeared on Living Local DVM to promote reading during March, National Reading Month. She provided three tips to encourage kids to read. The link to her appearance is here. Carylee is also a NOVA RIF board member

Books for Kids All Over the Place!

NOVA RIF raises funds to provide NEW books for over 20,000 schoolchildren throughout our community. Book distributions are days of excitement as kids look forward to choosing a book (or books) of their very own. A few recent distributions are highlighted below.

"Score Big with Books!"

With a Messi vs. Ronaldo soccer match playing on-screen, children at Hutchison Elementary School (Fairfax County) had a "ball" during their late February/early March NOVA RIF book distribution, thanks to librarian and NOVA RIF liaison Marci Hoyt. It included special soccer bookmarks, a soccer-themed word search game, and a chance to design one's own soccer uniform. A soccer ball estimation game -- how many little balls in that bin? -- led to several sets of free tickets to the home opener of the Loudoun United Football Club for the best four guessers from grades three to six. How fun is that!

"A Pot of Books at the End of the Rainbow!"

At Arlington's Even Start, there was a lucky "pot" -- of books -- at the end of the rainbow! Even Start is a family literacy program for APS parents who are learning English and who have children under the age of 10. Everyone got in on the book "luck," thanks to NOVA RIF liaison and program coordinator Sara Mulrooney. Clifford joined in for the fun, too -- that Big Red LUCKY Dog!!! Older children made rainbow art, and all the children had a blast choosing a book of their very own.

"There's Only One You!"

Bailey's Elementary School for the Arts & Sciences (Fairfax County) held a Read Across America Celebration the week of March 3-6 with the theme: There’s Only One You! Librarian and NOVA RIF liaison Janice Perreault wrote, "We celebrated our diversity and unity for a week with stories, book giveaways, activities, and prizes." After the Pre-K through 3rd grade children chose their book, they posed in front of their "star" bulletin board or gathered on a spotted library mat to read (or in one case, to peek!).

More about these school book distributions and others from this academic year may be enjoyed by clicking here.

Book Donations

When Kids Collect Books for Other Kids to Read!

The children attending Primrose School of Arlington love books and reading, and they were excited to share some of their favorite books with RIF of NOVA children. Each class decorated a donation box, which was placed outside the classroom door, reminding all that books were being collected. To spur interest in the drive, Director of Operations Cidney Brunson promised a big basket of treats to the class collecting the most books. It may have been the colorful boxes, or the basket of treats, or perhaps just the generousity of young children who brought in donations of 1,000 books! That's a ZOWIE (with many thanks!).

To find out more about our previously owned book program and how to donate or request books, please click here.

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. Every $4 = one book for one child!

Send a check:

Reading is Fundamental of Northern Virginia, Inc. 

P.O. Box 7012

Arlington, VA 22207-0012

Thank you for any donation -- no matter how big or small! And thank you again for being part of the RIF of NOVA community! Books change lives!

Please share the RAP! Forward our newsletter to your friends and anyone interested in providing books to children who need them! 
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RIF of NOVA | rifnova@gmail.com | www.rifnova.org


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