HOW WE HELP
For the more than 20,000 children served by RIF of NOVA, choosing a book to take home to own and keep forever is a big deal. Many have few -- or even no -- books at home...so having a book to keep is very empowering and encourages reading for the entire family!
At the start of the school year...
...the RIF of NOVA board holds a workshop for RIF of NOVA liaisons who run the RIF programs at their schools or centers. The liaisons -- often teachers, reading specialists, or school librarians -- learn and share key ideas on how to hold a successful book distribution that will engage children in reading and encourage them to read more!
At the end of every school year...
...one liaison is chosen from each of our five geographic areas for exemplary work in getting NOVA RIF books distributed to children. The 2023 winners are Sharon Nottingham (Marumsco Hills Elementary, Prince William County); Leslie Broughton (James K. Polk Elementary, Alexandria); Amy Hailey (Language Arts, Arlington); Eileen Findley (Groveton Elementary, Fairfax East); and Marci Hoyt (Hutchison Elementary, Fairfax West). Each awardee receives a bucket of children's books to augment the school library or school programming.
RIF of NOVA Days
Once, or sometimes twice, a year, RIF of NOVA liaisons create spectacular "RIF of NOVA Day" distributions to engage children in the fun of selecting a new book. Snow machines, trivia games, recyclable art projects, holidays, Read Across America Day, and Clifford the Big Red Dog have all been a part of RIF of NOVA Day activities. Children are encouraged to browse through colorful paperback books on display as they look for the perfect book to take home.
RIF of NOVA liaisons gather again in the spring for Book Ordering Day. At a meeting hosted by the NOVA RIF board, liaisons order the books for RIF of NOVA Day distributions in the following school year.
It takes a team!
Of course, RIF of NOVA Days can't happen without a dedicated network of volunteers. School staff, parents, students, and members of the community assist RIF-trained volunteers on RIF Day to ensure a successful event. More than 2,000 volunteers help run RIF programs in Northern Virginia. With your help, we can sponsor more RIF of NOVA Days and expand our reach in Northern Virginia as we promote a lifelong love of reading — one book at a time.
Meet Liaison Jill Connors
Librarian, Woodley Hills Elementary School
My first 15 years at Woodley Hills Elementary were as a classroom teacher. After getting my Master’s degree in school librarianship from Longwood University, I took over as school librarian in 2015. I have loved being the RIF of NOVA liaison ever since. The NOVA RIF distribution is always a highlight of the school year.
Although there are many facets to being a school librarian that challenge me and engage students, spreading the love of books is still my favorite. Building reading engagement in students is a passion of mine, and I love developing a diverse collection of books to help them grow as readers and thinkers.
Since taking over the library, I have worked hard to build our graphic novel collection. I even try to make sure there are some available for students in the NOVA RIF book distribution. Students LOVE them, and their benefits are countless.
To see Jill's graphic novel suggestions, click here!
Meet Liaison Marci Hoyt
Librarian, Hutchison Elementary School, Herndon
I have been the librarian at Hutchison Elementary since 2017. I received my Master of Education from Longwood University, which led me to the best job ever. I love my job, as I get to instill a love of reading with every child.
When a student begs for more library time – that makes my heart full, and I know I am in the right place. As a liaison with RIF of NOVA, I get to give out free books to every one of my students. What could be better?
Marci kindly provided RIF of NOVA with a few of her ideas for summer reading. Click on the image below and then scroll down to find a slideshow with her suggestions!
Meet Liaison Leslie Broughton
Librarian, James K. Polk Elementary, Alexandria
I have been involved with RIF of NOVA distributions on and off (mostly on!) for my entire elementary librarian career. My love of sharing books with people began right after college when I worked in an independent bookstore. It felt like a natural progression from there to library school! And I had the best mentor, as my mother was a school librarian.
I have been working in ACPS for 22 years, and can't imagine doing anything else. I was asked recently to share my 'why' -- why do I love working as an elementary school librarian? My 'why' is simple. I feel that once someone finds the love of books, worlds open up and they can grow and learn anything. Connecting students to books they enjoy and helping them discover their love of reading is my 'why'.
The books that always seem to disappear first at a NOVA RIF book distribution are any Wimpy Kid books. All graphic novels go fast, too. Also big hits are any Mo Willems: Piggy and Elephant, Pigeon, and Knuffle Bunny!