Resolution Read (Formerly Books for Bright Futures)
Resolution Read is a Junior League of Washington program that puts new books in the hands of children who might not otherwise have access to them. In honor of our Centennial, Junior League of Washington (JLW) volunteers committed to purchasing and distributing 100,000 new books to children in the greater Washington, D.C. community as part of a Resolution Read initiative. Resolution Read concentrates the JLW’s focus on literacy into three key areas: the importance of reading out loud to children; placing age-appropriate books in the homes of children; and providing more books to schools and libraries, with a large emphasis on children in Wards 5, 7, and 8. The JLW has partnered with local non-profit organizations to select and distribute age-appropriate books. In addition to providing books to existing JLW Community Partners, JLW is working with organizations like Reading is Fundamental (RIF), Everybody Wins! DC and the D.C. Public Library to facilitate book distributions to targeted communities. Building on the success of the JLW's Centennial Project, the Resolution Read Committee will continue to provide new books to children and adults who do not readily have access to them and to promote reading aloud to children.
JLW volunteers established in 1991 and continue to support Bright Beginnings, a childcare center for 100+
homeless preschoolers. Throughout the year, volunteers provide childcare while parents receive literacy and life skills training, plan literacy events for the children and their families, and organize a holiday party with wish list items donated by the community. Last holiday season, JLW volunteers sponsored “Christmas on Wheels”, where every Bright Beginnings child received a new bicycle. JLW volunteers also organize the Bright Beginnings 5K Race held annually in April.
Doorways for Women and Families
The Junior League Of Washington volunteers support the work of Doorways for Women and Families, which operates two shelters, one for homeless women and families and one for victims of domestic violence, through hard work, imagination, and dedication to promoting basic life skills and literacy for all who are touched by Doorways.
Higher Achievement Program
Each year, JLW volunteers support the important mission of the Higher Achievement Program (HAP): to develop academic skills, behaviors, and attitudes in academically motivated and underserved middle school children to improve their grades, standardized test scores, attendance, and educational opportunities.
Since 1988, JLW volunteers have worked with the staff of Children’s Hospital by supporting children and families affected by HIV/AIDS in the Washington, DC area. JLW has been a pioneer in support of these families, offering much needed support of external activities such as planning parties and literacy events several times per month to bring a calming sense to them.
Late one night in 1989, Karin Walser stopped at a gas station in Anacostia where several young children offered to pump her gas for some change. Over the ensuing years, Karin enlisted friends to join her in working with these and other children in their Ward 8 neighborhood by taking them on weekly Sunday outings, and in 1991, Horton’s Kids was formally established. In 1993, the organization began offering Tuesday night tutoring sessions. Horton’s Kids began Monday night tutoring sessions in the U.S. Capitol in 2001 and added Wednesday afternoon tutoring sessions in 2004. After nearly eighteen years, Horton’s Kids has become a second family to hundreds of children and families in Anacostia. Horton’s Kids has 125 regularly attending children, with a waiting list about one year long.
JLW members volunteer with The Literacy Lab in their Ready to Read program at DC General Family Emergency Shelter, the largest of Washington, DC’s government-run family shelters, and work with children and their parents through weekly Parent-Child Literacy Development Workshops. Ready to Read is a critical reading readiness program for families with toddlers and young children ages 0 – 5, providing a consistent amount of read aloud and print exposure to high-risk homeless children as well as provide homeless parents with a skill set to read with and engage their children in literacy activities from birth onward. By providing individualized reading instruction which targets fundamental skills, The Literacy Lab's trained volunteers will lead students to higher reading levels and increased confidence, which supports the League's focus of increasing reading skills in children.
Over 500 Junior League of Washington volunteers will join the Library of Congress to promote literacy at the 2011 National Book Festival on Saturday, September 24 and Sunday, September 25 on the National Mall. This is the 11th year the Library of Congress has hosted the festival and the first time the event will be two days. This annual free event brings more than 120,000 attendees each year, featuring authors and celebrating the joy of lifetime reading. This will be the 10th year the JLW has demonstrated its commitment to literacy through its support of the National Book Festival. The festival is always free and open to the public. Learn more about the event at http://www.loc.gov/bookfest/
Teen Life Clubs
Each year, JLW volunteers continue to support the important mission of the Girls’ Teen Life Clubs at the Children’s National Medical Center – an empowerment program for at risk teens and their families that seeks to increase health literacy and life skills. The JLW volunteers work with girls on a weekly basis, establishing a relationship as a mentor and positive role model through a curriculum set by the Children’s National Medical Center. Other JLW volunteers participate in Thursday night tutoring activities. The JLW volunteers also help with the monthly Saturday excursions and special events that focus on expanding cultural activities in Washington, DC.