The ability to read, write, and communicate affects far more than a person’s knowledge of literary masterpieces. It changes their access to jobs, health care and transportation, and the way they raise their children. That’s why, for the past 20 years, the Junior League of Washington (JLW) has focused our financial and volunteer resources on addressing the complex issue of illiteracy in the greater metropolitan area of Washington, DC.
JLW defines literacy as “an individual’s ability to read, write, and speak English and to compute and problem-solve at levels of proficiency necessary to: function on the job and in society, achieve one’s goals, and develop one’s knowledge and potential” (based on the National Literacy Act of 1991).
JLW has adopted a broad approach to solving the literacy challenges our community faces, addressing the issue from many angles: adult, child, and cultural. We not only invest in our community through financial resources, but also by providing trained volunteers who are empowered with the skills, qualities, and know-how that result in real change.
- We partner with programs and organizations across the Washington, DC, region that are addressing the problem head-on, in innovative and effective ways.
- We make grants to local organizations that are helping improve literacy rates for children and adults in Washington, DC.
- Through our Resolution Read initiative, we get books in the hands of young children who may not have access to books at home, in their schools, or at libraries.
- For more than 15 years, we have been major supporters of the National Book Festival, providing a significant portion of the festival’s volunteer force.
We invite you to explore our website to learn more about all of the ways JLW’s trained volunteers are making a difference in the lives of children and families across the greater Washington, DC, region. Our members are more than just volunteers—they are civic leaders who have developed unparalleled results and transformed the DC community.
In 2019-2020, JLW is commemorating 20 years of championing literacy in DC. Click here to learn more about how we are celebrating our achievements and how you can help us continue to improve literacy rates across the DC region.
If you would like to support JLW’s efforts to reduce illiteracy in Washington, DC, today, click here to make a donation.