Literacy Advocates Unite to Serve DC Homeless Families

Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and the Junior League of Washington (JLW) are teaming up to support Washington DC’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 DC’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 DC 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.