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10/18/2017

Literacy Advocates Unite to Serve Homeless Families

WASHINGTON, D.C., (October 18, 2017)- Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and the Junior League of Washington (JLW) are teaming up to support Washington D.C’s homeless youth.

Over the next three years, the Junior League of Washington and Reading Is Fundamental are partnering to bring books, literacy resources, and activities to children and families served by Coalition for the Homeless and Kia’s Place, kicking off on October 21, 2017.

JLW awarded RIF a three-year targeted grant to provide funding for this initiative and will be volunteering alongside RIF staff at biannual family literacy events, each fall and spring. Featuring a book distribution, lunch, literacy activities, a STEAM-focused craft station and a read aloud by members of the JLW, the focus of these events is to instill the importance of literacy in the participating students. Each event will benefit two program sites serving hundreds of families living in transitional housing during this partnership. 

“Our League is pleased to partner with Reading Is Fundamental on this important initiative,” says Junior League of Washington President Aimee Picard Soller. “We are providing these families with the building blocks for educational success, and the League and our members are excited to volunteer and be a part of this effort.”

Jennifer Moone, Director of Government & Community Relations at Reading Is Fundamental commented on the partnership, "Following the launch of Literacy Network, our new digital portal providing literacy champions with tools for local literacy impact, we could not be more pleased to partner with the Junior League of Washington to leverage that resource and benefit D.C's homeless youth."

Research from the Annie E. Casey Foundation indicates that children who live in poverty and read below grade level by third grade are three times as likely not to graduate from high school as their higher income peers. Moreover, homeless students perform 75% below grade-level in reading. Through this partnership, RIF and JLW will work to ensure that D.C. homeless youth have access to the opportunities that literacy provides.

About Reading Is Fundamental

 Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) is committed to a literate America by inspiring a passion for reading among all children, providing quality content to create impact, and engaging communities in the solution to give every child the fundamentals for success.  As the nation’s largest nonprofit organization for children’s literacy, RIF has provided more than 413 million books to 40 million kids in all 50 states.

About Junior League of Washington

The Junior League of Washington is a nonprofit organization of more than 2,300 women who annually donate thousands of dollars and volunteer hours to the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. JLW is committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. JLW focuses its financial and volunteer resources on the issues of literacy – adult, child, and cultural – and works with a diverse group of community partners. Since 1912, JLW has donated more than five million hours of direct volunteer service and more than $5.8 million to the Washington D.C community.

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