Monday, November 30, 2015

CPC Fridge Funds to Help Furnish 826DC’s “Magical” New HQ

826DC completed its move to a new headquarters with a kickoff event Nov. 14. The Columbia Heights facility will help the JLW community partner grow the number of students served by its literacy and writing programs, which include hosting after-school tutoring, field trips for local schools, and creative and expository writing workshops.

JLW is helping with the transition to the new space, as earlier this month the Community Placement Council voted to approve a $1,000 “fridge fund” grant for 826DC, which will be used to purchase comfortable furniture for the teen space in the tutoring and writing center.

The plush seating will make the space more appealing to older students after a long day at school, helping them to be more productive during tutoring sessions.

"Teens have different developmental needs from our younger students, some of which are met by more relaxed seating and a sense of responsibility and autonomy for 'their' space," said Lacey N. Dunham, 826DC's Programs Director. "We're grateful for the Junior League of Washington's support helping us make a welcoming space where teens can further connect with our programming."

The new facility was featured in a article last month.

The new space is just across the street from the old location, which included a storefront “Museum of Unnatural History.” The headquarters are now at the historic Tivoli building in Columbia Heights. It now houses a new storefront, Tivoli’s Astounding Magic Supply Co.

"For students, the storefront is an important transition space that carries them from their daily lives to a warm and creative environment. It also inspires our workshops and student writing,” Dunham said.

Attributed to 826DC

826DC is part of the 826 National organization. It opened its D.C. location in 2010 and was a JLW grant recipient before becoming a community partner in incubation. JLW 826DC Committee members volunteer through the Reading All-Stars program, mentoring elementary students on Saturday mornings at Harriet Tubman Elementary in Columbia Heights. Contact Committee Chair Natalie Jennings with questions about the committee.

Monday, November 16, 2015

NMWA Committee Invites League to Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft and Design, Midcentury and Today

The JLW National Museum of Women in the Arts Committee is excited to share the museum’s current special exhibition, “Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft and Design, Midcentury and Today.” The pieces exhibited are created with textiles, ceramics and metals. Women artists fifty years ago and today use those materials to elevate what were once categorized as women’s crafts to fine art pieces.

The 1950s were an important time in the history of women artists. Female artists achieved great success at a time when men were dominating the traditional artistic fields of painting, sculpture and architecture. In 1949, Anni Albers, a German-American artist who trained at the Bauhaus school with her husband, had the first one-person show at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City. The exhibition toured the U.S. for three years, establishing Albers as one of the most famous female artists of the day. Her textiles are on display in Pathmakers.

Left: Anni Albers; Right: Tikal Rug, 1958 by Anni Albers on view at Pathmakers
In addition to the groundbreaking Albers show in 1949, MoMA continued to support the growth of female artists. From 1946-56, MoMa collected more women artist created pieces than ever before or since.

The legacy of Albers, and other midcentury artists featured in Pathmakers, is conveyed through the second act of the exhibition that presents works from contemporary female artists and designers. Female artists reflect and expand upon the work of the earlier generation. An entire gallery in the Pathmakers exhibition at NMWA is dedicated to Polly Apfelbaum’s “Handweaver’s Pattern Book.”

Apfelbaum has hung nearly 50 synthetic silk velvet panels covered in tiny dot patterns created with a simple tool—the basic magic marker. The piece’s title comes from a 1944 how-to book for weavers by Marguerite P. Davison. Mechanized weaving was made possible by punch card patterns fed into the machine and threatened the time-honored tradition of craft weavers. Apfelbaum’s work ties together the central theme of Pathmakers in a colorful array—women elevating traditional craft into fine art in the face of modernization.

Handweaver’s Pattern Book, 2014, by Polly Apfelbaum on view at Pathmakers
NMWA was incorporated as a private, nonprofit museum in 1981, opening its doors to the public in its current location on New York Avenue in 1987; NMWA is the only museum in the world whose sole focus is on celebrating the accomplishments of female artists. The Junior League of Washington has been associated with NMWA since 1983; today, 24 women from the League serve as visitor experience volunteers, staffing the information desk, leading conversation-piece discussions and tours, and supporting the museum at a variety of events.

Please contact NMWA Committee Chair, Lori Vitelozzi, at with any questions about the committee.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Apply for the JLW Leadership Institute Get on Board 2016 Winter/Spring Training

The Junior League of Washington’s Membership Development Council and Development & Training Committee, in conjunction with President Cameron Gilreath and President-elect Elizabeth Keys, are pleased to announce the JLW Leadership Institute’s third Get On Board training. This four-part class is designed to provide JLW members with the knowledge and skills needed to serve on JLW’s Board of Directors or other nonprofit community boards. Topics will include roles and responsibilities of Boards, Board/staff relationships, strategic planning and financial oversight, and fundraising. The training is facilitated by BoardSource, a recognized leader in nonprofit governance.

All JLW members in good standing—actives, new members, transfers and sustainers—are eligible to apply.

Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. EST, on Friday, Dec. 4. Interested participants must fill out a short online application form here. Applicants must be committed to attend all four sessions, which will be held at JLW headquarters from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. on:

  • Tuesday, January 26
  • Tuesday, February 23*
  • Tuesday, March 29
  • Tuesday, April 26 

*This meeting will either be held at JLW HQ or Winston & Strawn LLP offices in Washington, D.C. 

JLW members interested in attending but not able to commit to all four sessions are asked to defer their applications to the next session, which will be offered twice in 2016-17; dates TBD.

JLW will accept approximately 40 students into the Get On Board class. Should more than 40 women apply, participants will be selected by the President, President-elect and Membership Development Council Director. Preference will be given to current JLW board members and chairs. There is no cost to attend—JLW cover the fees associated with this training.

Applicants will be notified of their status via email by 5:00 p.m. EST, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.

If you have any questions, please contact JLW Membership Council Director Courtney Mesmer at

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Annual Sustainer Fall Luncheon

The Sustainer Committee held its annual Fall Luncheon at the Chevy Chase Club on Friday, Oct. 16. A signature event for the JLW sustainer population, the event’s purpose is to reunite members from the previous volunteer cycle and introduce them to new members. A group of 77 League members were in attendance.

While enjoying lunch, reuniting with old friends and becoming acquainted with the new, the ladies were honored to have Author Sharon Hadary as the guest speaker to discuss how to “Lead Boldly! Lead Like a Woman!” As the Founder of the Center of Women’s Business Research, Hadary is a front-runner in studying women’s entrepreneurship and leadership. Her recent book, “How Women Lead: The 8 Essential Strategies Successful Women Know,” was also featured for the sustainers to provide more insight on leadership, mentorship and maximizing opportunities.

Next on the sustainer calendar is the Holiday Shops Breakfast, this Friday, November 5. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Annual Halloween Party a Highlight of Horton's Kids' Fall

The Horton's Kids Halloween party was held on Oct. 25, in the Cannon Caucus room in the U.S. House of Representatives. The kids arrived in costume and were ready to party, excited to snack on pizza, brownies, lemonade, and of course, candy!

The Horton’s Kids committee decorated every inch of the room, and were dressed to play the part. The party included cupcake decorating, face painting, coloring, a toilet paper “mummy wrap,” a candy jar guessing game, a candy corn relay and a candy toss. In addition to the stations set up for games and activities, there were a few special events, including a costume parade along a real red carpet, a "Thriller" dance lesson and an all-out dance party to the kids’ favorite songs. There were smiles, laughs, squeals and frosting-smeared happy faces everywhere.

The parties thrown by the Horton's Kids committee have a special place, as they provide the kids with a safe space in which they can let loose and just be kids. 

For more information about Horton's Kids, visit the "Where we Volunteer" page on JLW's website or contact the Chair of the Horton's Kids Committee, Jennifer Choudhry.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Junior League of Columbia Needs Your Help!

The Junior League of Columbia, SC is collecting donations for victims of the devastating flooding that has affected their area. JL Columbia President Kim Leighton wrote the following note to let us know how your League can help:

Thank you so much for reaching out to us. We have many members (Provisional, Active and Sustainer) who have lost everything…and over 100 who have some kind of damage to their homes. We are in the process of checking on our most vulnerable Sustainers and plan on helping all of our members who have been affected during this extraordinarily difficult time. The devastation here is unimaginable.
We are pulling together, and my prayer is that the Junior League of Columbia will be there for our community in the days, months and years to come. This will be a long recovery process, and we are in it for the long haul!

We have secured a wonderful retail space, generously donated by EDENS, to accept all of the donations coming in (mostly from other sister Leagues). If you are interested in donating to help the victims in Columbia, details can be found on our website. We are accepting goods and monetary donations and have volunteer opportunities for Junior League members.

We are so grateful for your support, and we ask you to direct any Leagues interested in donating to our website in order to help the good people of Columbia, South Carolina. The Junior League of Columbia will be there for our community as we have for the past 91 years. I am available if you have any concerns or ideas or questions about what specific items/products are most in need.

Thank you.


Kim Dickerson Leighton
Junior League of Columbia, Inc.

This post was originally written and distributed by AJLI

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Are You in the Holiday Shops Know?

Are you in the know about the 57th Annual Holiday Shops events? In addition to general shopping,
this year's Holiday Shops will host a variety of events for Junior League of Washington members and the wider community! The JLW invites YOU, and those you know, to attend one (or many) of the festive events Nov. 5-8, at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel. Funds raised from Holiday Shops support improving the D.C. community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers and the more than two dozen grants awarded annually to local nonprofits.

First up is the 57th annual Holiday Shops Grand Opening on Thursday, Nov. 5, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Guests will enjoy a fun-filled evening of holiday shopping, door prizes and glitz, with makeup artists from Neiman Marcus on hand to offer tips for a beautiful holiday look. Hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served throughout the evening. Tickets are $45 in advance and $55 at the door.

Friday holds two fabulous events starting with the Holiday Shops Breakfast from 9 to 11 a.m. Sustainers can enjoy two hours of private shopping and a brief program to highlight the continual success and achievements of JLW's sustaining members while partaking in mimosas, coffee and a light breakfast. This year's breakfast will also feature door prizes! Tickets are $45 in advance and $50 at the door. Be sure to purchase your ticket(s) soon as this event tends to sell out in advance. Members may also purchase "Sustainer Host" tickets for $100, which includes one ticket to the breakfast and two shopping tickets.

Friday afternoon Holiday Shops’ newest event will be introduced: the Women’s Leadership Luncheon. Join from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. to celebrate female leadership with a unique opportunity to learn from, and be motivated by, an esteemed panel of guest speakers. The panel will be moderated by NBC4's Angie Goff and panelists include:

• Cathy Merrill Williams, Washingtonian Magazine
• Bhavana Boggs, Ritz-Carlton
• Kelli Richardson Lawson, JOY Media Collective
• April Young, Hercules Technology Growth Capital

Tickets are $75 in advance and $100 at the door.

Saturday night JLW will host the hottest holiday party of the season, The Junior League of Washington Soirée from 7 to 11 p.m. The black-tie optional event features signature cocktails, carving stations, delicious hors d'oeuvres, silent and live auctions, and musical entertainment! Tickets are $100 advance and $125 at the door.

Sunday is fun for all! Be sure to bring the family out for The Junior League of Washington Family Fun Day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Children's entertainment and crafts will be on hand to keep the little ones entertained while mom and dad have a chance check some Christmas shopping off the list at the Holiday Shops’ merchant booths. Special guests include Santa and Mrs. Clause, both of which will be available for pictures from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.! Tickets are $25 per family.

Sound too good to be true? Purchase your tickets before it is too late. Tickets for all events can be purchased here.

The Holiday Shops Committee, and Junior League of Washington, thank you for your support.

Monday, October 12, 2015

JLW Connection/Book Club Kick-off Event to Feature Author Tom Rath

Best-selling author, Tom Rath, will join the Membership Outreach Committee as a featured guest at this year's JLW Connection/Book Club Kick-Off event on Oct. 13 at 6:30 p.m.
His latest book is “Are You Fully Charged? The Three Keys to Energizing Your Work and Life." The book is being made into a feature-length documentary that will be released later in 2015 and focuses on key elements of energizing work and life through personal stories and interviews with the world's leading social scientists. The film features a company in Minneapolis, Minn., where employees work on treadmill desks; a church in Chicago that gave members $500 to spend on others; and the co-founder of the Knowledge is Power Program, or KIPP, that has helped thousands of low-income students go to college.

Rath is a researcher who studies the role of human behavior in business, health and well-being. His book, “StrengthsFinder 2.0,” was the top-selling book in 2013 and 2014 worldwide on His recent bestsellers include “Strengths Based Leadership,”Wellbeingand “Eat Move Sleep: How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes.” In total, his books have sold more than six million copies.

Arianna Huffington, co-founder of Huffington Post, said “Are You Fully Charged?” is, “An essential book for anyone wanting more out of life.” The Washingtonian stated, “Fortune 500 leaders look to him as one of the greatest thinkers of his generation.” And Forbes noted, “Rath's book is to bestseller lists what the Big Dipper is to our night sky. You can't miss it.”

In addition to his work as a researcher and author, Rath serves as a senior scientist for and advisor for Gallup, where he previously spent 13 years leading the organization's work on employee engagement, strengths, leadership and well-being. He also works as a scientific advisor for Welbe, a startup focused on wearable technology.

This year's kick-off event will feature a panel including Rath, D.C. fitness expert and Food Blogger Kaitlyn Wozniak and a local food blogger. The event will be held at Hunton & Williams, located near the Foggy Bottom metro station. Food and beverages will be provided, and women are invited to meet their group members and plan their club's first official meeting. If you are interested in registering for the Connection Club and Book Club Kick-Off event, please RSVP here.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Connection & Book Clubs Kickoff Event!

Are you looking for a fun and new way to meet and connect with women in JLW who share similar interests? The Membership Outreach Committee is organizing another year of Connection Clubs and Book Clubs to provide League members with a social setting to have fun, meet new women, form connections based on like activities and read new books!

The survey to participate closed Monday, Oct. 5; however, those that bypassed the deadline and are still interested in the clubs can contact the Membership Outreach Committee or attend the kick-off event to be placed into a club. The kick-off event takes place tomorrow, Tuesday, Oct. 13, at Hunton & Williams (2200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; Blue, Orange and Silver Lines, Foggy Bottom Metro) from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Participating JLW members are invited to meet and greet group members (and other women of the League) and plan their first official meetings at the kick-off event at Hunton & Williams (2200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; Blue, Orange and Silver Lines, Foggy Bottom Metro) on Tuesday, Oct. 13, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. This year the kick-off event will feature a panel including a short pre-screening of author Tom Rath's new movie "Fully Charged" on how to create a balanced, D.C. fitness expert Kaitlyn Wozniak and a local food blogger.
To register for the Oct. 13 kick-off event, click here.
For additional information, contact

Once participants are placed and clubs are formulated, groups will be assigned a liaison from the Membership Outreach Committee who will assist with the initial communications for the club before it becomes self-sustaining.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Resolution Read Makes Every Month National Literacy Month

While September is National Literacy Month, the Junior League of Washington celebrates literacy’s impact on children and communities year round. One committee that works tirelessly in this effort is Resolution Read. This committee volunteers at community events, tutors students, hosts story time at local libraries and donates thousands of reading materials annually to help all Washington, D.C., youth develop a lifelong habit of reading.  

In the last year, Resolution Read has:
  •        Handed out 600 books in partnership with DC Scores!, a soccer and community service organization
  •        Distributed an additional 350 books through the DC Scores! Poetry Slam
  •        Donated books to the Literacy Lab, a tutoring program that encourages summertime reading for more than 200 D.C. students
  •        Volunteered at the recognition ceremony of the 2015 “Letters About Literature” essay contest; Letters About Literature is a project of The Center for the Book and the Library of Congress
  •        Assisted at workshops led by Turning the Page, an organization that works with D.C. Public Schools, families and communities to ensure students receive valuable resources and a quality public education
  •        Volunteered at the STAR Family Festival, an event that promotes early literacy and the importance of singing, talking and reading to children

One of Resolution Read’s largest events is its annual holiday book drive. In 2014, the committee delivered more than 1,000 books to several local organizations. Resolution Read will continue this holiday tradition with another major book delivery during the 2015 season. 

These efforts are more than just donations of time or material. They are an opportunity to spark a love of reading and foster a desire for learning. That’s a gift shared by both the children and the members of Resolution Read all the months of the year. 

The committee was created during the JLW’s centennial year and currently has more than 25 members striving toward the our League’s overall focus.  

Friday, September 18, 2015

JLW Chosen as Combined Federal Campaign Recipient

For the first time ever, the Junior League of Washington joins the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), the world's largest most successful annual workplace charity campaign! Are you a federal employee or military member? Please consider partnering with JLW through the CFC!

CFC’s mission is to support and to promote philanthropy through a program that is employee-focused, cost efficient and effective in providing all federal employees the opportunity to improve the quality of life for all.

Pledges made by federal civilian, postal and military donors during the campaign season—Sept. 1 to Dec. 15—support eligible non-profit organizations that provide health and human service benefits throughout the world. The JLW is proud to have been chosen as one of this year's eligible organizations!

Click here to learn more on JLW’s blog.

How do I donate?

If you are a federal civilian, postal or military donor, please support JLW by designating #17835 on your paper or online pledge card. On your pledge card, you can make one time or recurring donations via a payroll deduction, credit/debit card or check. Payroll deductions make it easy to give small weekly contributions that quickly make a significant impact (as little as $1 per pay period)!

You can contribute online at or reach out to your office's CFC Key Worker.

Are there other ways I can participate?

Please spread the word! Encourage your friends, family and coworkers to choose JLW as their designated CFC charity. If you are a federal employee, military member or postal employee and want to invite JLW to your office's CFC event, please contact

Not eligible to contribute to CFC? Please consider joining the 3039 M Society! The Friends of the JLW Committee invites ALL members to participate in a new opportunity to engage all elements of the League, while having fun throughout the year. Through a single contribution—at a level of your choice—members can plan for activities that year, while supporting the work of many ongoing projects and strengthening the League. The 3039 M Society offers three tiers of support that offer JLW members tickets to events and other benefits, acknowledgement in JLW event programs and special recognition at the League’s annual reception.

For additional information or to enroll, submit a contribution form to Ways and Means Council Director, Diane Lebson, by Oct. 15! 

How will my contributions support the JLW?

Your CFC donations support an organization of women dedicated to serving as a resource throughout the community to effect positive change, seek common ground, and inspire hope by focusing our financial and volunteer resources on the complex issues of literacy in the greater metropolitan area of the District of Columbia.

The Friends of JLW Committee educates members regarding the importance of donating to the JLW. Questions regarding your contributions should be directed to

Thursday, September 17, 2015

National Book Fest was a Labor [Day Weekend] of Love for JLW Volunteers

The page has turned on the Library of Congress’ 2015 National Book Festival, and Junior League of Washington volunteers were an important factor in the festival’s success.

This year marked the 15th National Book Festival and the 13th year the JLW supported the event by providing volunteers. This year also represented the 200th anniversary of the Library of Congress’ acquisition of Thomas Jefferson’s library, and fittingly, the theme of the festival was “I Cannot Live without Books,” a quote from Jefferson.

Over the course of the day, JLW volunteers saw the festival theme in action as up to 150,000 attendees flooded the Washington Convention Center to meet their favorite authors, interact with librarians from across the country, get books autographed and celebrate their love of books. If that seems like a lot of attendees, it was—the festival doubled its attendance from last year.

Since moving from its original home on the National Mall, and marking the second year at the Washington Convention Center, the festival continues to grow and evolve. It has moved from two days to one action-packed day, and this year, the number of authors at the festival increased to 175, the most in festival history.

The JLW continues to grow alongside the Library of Congress, as it builds upon its relationship with the festival. For the first time, the JLW was featured as a contributor to the festival on the event poster, recognition of the League's ongoing role as the largest providers of volunteers for the festival.

This year, 400 enthusiastic volunteers contributed more than 2,000 hours of service on Sept. 5. The volunteers were in action for an extended day this year, staying until 8 p.m. to manage book signing lines and book sales.

What allows the JLW to continue its partnership with the National Book Festival is the quality of the volunteers. During the festival this year, League women aided librarians from across the country in the Pavilion of States, helped keep the crowds under control in the book sales area, and expertly handed long lines and eager fans in the book signing lines. And if you ever wondered what happens when you cross a children’s author with an astronaut who has walked on the moon, ask the volunteers who were tasked with keeping Buzz Aldrin’s fans in line.

The hard work and positive attitudes displayed by our volunteers did not go unnoticed. Marie Arana, co-director of The National Book Festival and senior advisor to the U.S. Librarian of Congress, said after the festival, “You are the rock on whom we depend! Thanks so much for yet another year of wonderful teamwork. Your members are not only gracious and efficient, you’re all so well informed about books. We love that.”

National Book Festival Co-director Guy Lamolinara said, “[We] could not be more pleased with how the festival unfolded, and this is due in very large measure to the enormous contributions of the JLW… we simply could not have the festival without you. We look forward to 2016.”

JLW even had one festivalgoer stop by the League’s table to share how amazing they thought our volunteers are, and that we don’t get enough credit for what we do. While credit and praise is great, it’s not why we do it. JLW volunteers spent their Labor Day Saturday making sure that everyone—authors, fans and parents with kids—had a great experience at National Book Festival because we know how important it is to promote literacy in our community. JLW volunteers managed crowds with grace and a smile because we understand what Jefferson meant when he wrote, “I Cannot Live without Books,” and if we can make just one other person feel that way, then that makes the festival a success in our book.

Friday, September 4, 2015

JLW Expands Volunteer Support for 2015 National Book Festival

Junior League of Washington Expands Volunteer Support for 2015 National Book Festival
400 Volunteers to Promote Literacy, Donate Time to the Library of Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 2, 2015 -- The Junior League of Washington will expand its support of the Library of Congress’ National Book Festival (NBF) this year by providing 400 volunteers, up from 300 in 2014, to assist with the event. This is the 13th year the JLW has provided volunteers to help with various day-of tasks pertaining to the free festival, which is set to attract tens of thousands of attendees on Saturday, Sept. 5.

“The Junior League of Washington is proud of our extended history with the Library of Congress’ National Book Festival. We value the opportunity the festival provides for us to promote the importance of volunteerism while supporting an initiative that highlights the positive impact of books and literacy,” said Junior League of Washington President Cameron Gilreath.

From 2003 to 2014, almost 5,000 JLW volunteers have provided more than 31,000 volunteer hours to the NBF.

“We are committed to using our resources where we can have the largest community impact, which is why we focus on illiteracy, one of the greatest challenges facing the D.C. metro area. Our volunteers look forward to supporting this vibrant, influential event each year, and we are excited to increase our commitment to the Library of Congress and the festival,” Gilreath continued.

Gilreath also notes that the NBF occurs during National Literacy Month.

For the first time in its 13-year partnership, the NBF will highlight the JLW’s role as an important partner on the official festival poster. This is a tremendous opportunity to reflect the significant contributions provided by JLW volunteers. This year, more than 2,500 hours of volunteer service will be provided.

“We are thrilled our partnership with the Library of Congress and the National Book Festival has resulted in an even greater role for the Junior League of Washington,” said Gilreath.

The JLW, along with the Library of Congress, will welcome book enthusiasts and 175 authors to the NBF on Sept. 5. League volunteers are integral to the success of the event, helping attendees navigate the Washington Convention Center, directing patrons through the author and illustrator signing lines, managing traffic flow and answering questions.

“We appreciate the opportunity to grow and evolve alongside the festival, and look forward to once again providing the Library of Congress with an enthusiastic and committed volunteer force,” said Gilreath.


Our Mission: The Junior League of Washington is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.

Our Focus: Our nearly 2,400 members volunteer at community agencies throughout the Washington Metro area, providing aid where their expertise is needed most. You can find us tutoring a child, mentoring parents at a daycare center for homeless children, serving on community boards, or delivering life skills seminars to community members in recovery programs. Since 1999, the JLW has focused our volunteer resources on literacy issues: adult, child, and cultural.

For more information, please visit

Congratulations to the 2014 CPC Community Partner Grants Recipients!

Each year the Community Placement Councils (CPC) awards the CPC Community Partner Grants to select community partners through the Community Fund. The Councils receive annual requests for funding and conduct a formal review and selection process to determine the recipients. Last year grants were awarded to two of the Historic Alexandria Docent Committee’s community partners: Gadsby’s Tavern Museum and the Carlyle House.

Gadsby’s Tavern Museum requested funding for a tabletop display in the spring. The Museum has had success with the display since its arrival in June and plans to use it as a resource to showcase the museum at other sites and for occasions when full tours are limited for special events.

The Carlyle House requested funding for two leather armchairs in their docent lounge. These were to replace their previous outdated chairs that were used by the docents between tours.  The chairs also enhance the look and feel of the museum entrance.

The CPCs are excited to contribute to its community partners and look forward to supporting this year’s future recipients!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Thomas Jefferson Can’t Live Without Books, and Neither Can JLW Volunteers

The 15th annual Library of Congress (LOC) National Book Festival is this Saturday, Sept. 5, from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., at the Washington Convention Center. More than 150 authors and illustrators, librarians from across the country, and new activities and presentations guarantee to make this year’s festival a worthwhile event.

Not only is this year the 15th anniversary, but the LOC is also celebrating another big milestone. This year marks the 200th anniversary of the LOC’s acquisition of Thomas Jefferson’s personal library. As a tribute to the former president’s collection and love of books, the theme of the 2015 book festival is centered around a quote of Jefferson’s, “I cannot live without books.” This quote and theme is captured in the poster for this year’s festival, which was created by acclaimed illustrator and designer Peter de Sève!

Jefferson isn’t the only one who can’t live without books. By helping provide volunteers for the National Book Festival for the past 13 years, the Junior League of Washington has been able to help promote literacy in its community while assisting in the festival’s success every year. By volunteering at the festival, Junior League volunteers receive the chance to interact with amazing authors, help librarians across the country and make sure festival attendees have the best experience possible.

Some of the new offerings and activities at this year’s National Book Festival are highlighted below, but remember, while the festival continues to change and grow, one thing never changes—it is always a place for people who cannot live without books.

For the Romantics
At 7:15 p.m. National Public Radio’s Petra Mayer will emcee a program devoted to romance fiction, featuring romance authors Sarah MacLean, Beverly Jenkins and Paige Tyler.

Calling All Movie Lovers
At 8 p.m., A. Scott Berg, winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award, will give an overview of Sam Goldwyn’s Hollywood and the rise of the film industry while “Washington Post” film critic Ann Hornaday will moderate a panel on the topic.

If you’re a History Buff
From 2:35 to 7:10 p.m., a variety of writers on war will discuss the human side of war and provide a tribute to the American war experience. Award-winning broadcast journalist Tom Brokaw will speak about his book “The Greatest Generation.” Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Rick Atkinson will talk about human stories from his Liberation trilogy, National Book Award finalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran and co-author Howard Schultz will discuss their book on veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and West Point Professor Elizabeth Samet will host a discussion with war novelists who have written about Iraq and Afghanistan.

JLW encourages you to tell your family and friends to attend the National Book Festival, or bring them with you when you go! If you want to stay up-to-date on all book festival news and activities, make sure to download the new National Book Festival app, which will include the complete schedule of author presentations, book signing lines and activities. Finally, thank you to all who have signed up to volunteer; your time and dedication is valued and appreciated by all who love books!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

NMWA Art Displays Nature-centric Pieces

Over the hill in an isolated part of Missouri appears a light, its origins unknown, coming from seemingly nowhere. The ball of light can be seen on chance evenings deep in Ozark country, bounding down an abandoned road. In the Devils Promenade region of the Ozarks, falling between Missouri and Oklahoma, locals all know about the phenomenon known as the “Spook Light,” the origins of which date as far back as the 1830s.

Laura Shipley, a photographer and native to rural Missouri, captures the essence of the Spook Light legend in her 2013 photographs, “In the Ozarks There are Lights and False Light.” While some Ozark residents go searching for the mysterious glow of the Spook Light, others feel threatened or frightened by its presence. Shipley’s work, in her collection of photographs titled “Devils Promenade,” ties together folklore, oral history, and fictional stories from the area, bringing light to the inhabitants of this isolated community.

“In the Ozarks There are Lights” and “False Light” are two pieces included within the “Women to Watch—Organic Matters” exhibition currently on display at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA). “Women to Watch” is a biennial series presented by the museum that features emerging or underrepresented female artists from around the globe. For “Organic Matters,” NMWA staff selected 20 pieces representing 13 artists, all of whose work focuses on the theme of nature. From photographs to drawings and sculptures to video, these 13 women all bring a variety of perspectives on the complex relationship with the natural world.

Super Natural,” a second exhibition presented concurrently with Women to Watch—Organic Matters, explores historical and contemporary interpretations of nature. Separated into three distinctive categories—flora, fauna, and Mother Earth anew—more than 50 works created by 25 female artists are featured in the exhibition that asks museum visitors “what is natural?” Pieces on display range from the traditional to the avant-garde: created in 1719, more than 26 engraved images from Swiss artist Maria Sibylla Merian hang in the gallery, depicting up-close compositions of species native to Suriname; Sharon Core, a contemporary photographer from the United States, meticulously creates and photographs realistic-looking roses from pigs’ ears (as featured in her 1997 piece, “Single Rose”).

Women to Watch—Organic Matters and Super Natural are on display at NMWA through September 13. Additional information about the exhibitions can be found on the NMWA website: and

NMWA was incorporated as a private, nonprofit museum in 1981, opening its doors to the public in its current location on New York Avenue in 1987; NMWA is the only museum in the world whose sole focus is on celebrating the accomplishments of female artists. The Junior League of Washington has been associated with NMWA since 1983; today, 24 women from the League serve as visitor experience volunteers, staffing the information desk, leading conversation-piece discussions and tours, and supporting the museum at a variety of events.

Please contact NMWA Committee Chair, Lori Vitelozzi, at with any questions about the committee.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Library of Congress Interview with JLW President Cameron Gilreath

The following post is a Q&A with Junior League of Washington President Cameron Gilreath.
Many people are familiar with Junior Leagues in their hometowns, but for those who aren’t, can you share with us in brief the mission of the Junior League of Washington?
The Junior League of Washington (JLW) is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. At its core, the purpose of the JLW is educational and charitable, and we really strive to make a tangible difference in the lives of women and children in the D.C. area. We currently have more than 2,300 women who are a part of the JLW, and throughout our history have provided more than 5 million volunteer hours and more than $5.4 million to organizations in our community that reflect our mission.
Why is the National Book Festival and literacy a focus for JLW?
The JLW is committed to using its resources where we can have the largest impact, which is why for over fifteen years, we have focused on one of the greatest challenges facing our region, illiteracy. The ability to read, write, and communicate plays an important role in everyday life and impacts a person’s ability to provide for themselves and their family. We currently work with more than 20 leading, local nonprofits. By improving reading and comprehension skills and educational opportunities, we can help give people a dramatically improved chance for success. Our focus and dedication to literacy has also produced a long and valued history with the National Book Festival–spanning 13 years and nearly 5,000 JLW volunteers giving more than 23,000 volunteer hours. The National Book Festival provides a great opportunity for the JLW to live out its mission– it provides us with a platform to promote the importance of voluntarism while supporting an initiative that highlights the positive impact of books and literacy.

To read more of Cameron's interview please click here

This blog post was originally published on July 24, 2015 by the Library of Congress and features the Junior League of Washington. JLW thanks the LOC for our partnership and allowing us to share this information with you.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

#JLWvol on Instagram

JLWdc is now on Instagram! Thanks to the members who asked JLW to create an account, and the fantastic submissions we've received for current events and Throwback Thursdays, the League’s Insta account is live and thriving.

Follow JLW on Instagram by clicking here or searching “3039M.” The PR & New Media Committee also encourages members to tag the League’s account when posting photos from JLW events; and as with all of our social media sharing, please use #JLWvol as your main hashtag.

August is also a great time to make sure you are connected to all of JLW’s social media accounts. The League has an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube, and makes frequent posts on the JLW blog. To learn more about how to share your committee’s content on one of the JLW’s numerous social platforms, email

Friday, August 7, 2015

15th Annual Library of Congress National Book Festival Coming Sept. 5

Free Event at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center Offers Array of Activities
The organizations sponsoring the Library of Congress National Book Festival offer an array of fun and exciting activities and programs for festival attendees of all ages in the exhibition area, on the lower level of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
The 15th National Book Festival will be held at the Washington Convention Center from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (doors open at 9 a.m.) on Saturday, Sept. 5. The event is free and open to the public. More information is at

President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are the honorary chairs of the event. The distinguished benefactor of the festival is David M. Rubenstein. Rubenstein also funds the Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program.
National Book Festival sponsors will offer family-friendly activities on the exposition floor in Halls A, B and C and will be open from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m.
In addition to the activities throughout the day, scheduled special events will be posted on the festival website and on on-site signage to help visitors plan their days. New to the festival this year will be an event app, available in coming weeks to give visitors additional scheduling tools.
Festival-goers can stop by the new Literacy Corner to learn what literacy is and why it is important, and to participate in literacy-themed activities. The Literacy Corner will feature an ongoing story time for ages 4 through 8, literacy information for parents, caregivers and educators, a graffiti wall and other interactive opportunities presented by Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program award winners.
AARP will feature its literacy-focused programs for people of all ages in an exciting and interactive exhibition space filled with surprises, activities and contests. Giveaways and opportunities to win prizes will be offered throughout the day.
AARP Experience Corps, the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington Hylton Branch -- sponsored by the Old Dominion Chapter (VA), The Links, Incorporated -- and others will participate in story reading and interactive reading and literacy games. AARP TEK (Technology, Education, Knowledge) will provide a charging station for attendees to recharge electronic devices, while computer experts will answer technical questions and show people how to get the most out of their computers, tablets and phones. AARP Books will showcase useful publications, which will be available in the festival’s onsite Politics & Prose bookstore. Festivalgoers can also learn about AARP and the many "Real Possibilities" it provides for people of all ages. Dynamic Life Reimagined programs will be showcased along with AARP’s efforts to "disrupt aging."
A slide show will acquaint visitors with the history of AARP’s impact on the American landscape and AARP staff will provide information on community-focused programs and campaigns, volunteer opportunities and career opportunities at AARP.
Attendees can talk to representatives of their home states and learn about each state’s literary heritage from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. in the Pavilion of the States. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is the major sponsor of this pavilion, with additional funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The IMLS and NEH support allows an affiliate of the Library’s Center for the Book in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories to come to the festival. The "Discover Great Places Through Reading" brochure offers a list of 52 great reads and a map for kids that encourages them to visit all 52 affiliates (plus the Library of Congress Center for the Book) to get a unique sticker or stamp. Many of these books will be for sale in the festival bookstore.
The Washington Post will invite visitors to become their own storytellers in an exciting new series of spoken, written and visual activities. To celebrate the tradition of oral storytelling, local authors will read aloud from their books throughout the day. Festivalgoers can use their imaginations and practice writing by picking up a storytelling activity book that includes storybook word games, National Book Festival trivia, a create-your-own comic strip and a removable color-your-own bookmark. Visitors are welcome to complete each activity at special stations with examples of how to complete the exercise.
The Post’s mascot, Ned the Newshound, returns to the festival and will make a special appearance from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to pose for photos. As part of the Post’s longstanding partnership with the festival, a special edition of "Book World" covering the festival will be available at information booths.
This year Wells Fargo is excited to introduce Wells Fargo’s all-new Together Experience, where festival-goers can participate in a virtual maze challenge interactive game, record a testimonial in its video booth, take photos and win prizes. Wells Fargo representatives will continue to read and share a large assortment of children’s books, and, of course, the Wells Fargo Stagecoach and hands-on history activities will be onsite as well.
The National Endowment for the Arts sponsors the Poetry & Prose pavilion of author presentations (Room 145AB), which will again feature readings and discussions by award-winning writers and poets, many of whom have received NEA Literature Fellowships. The Poetry & Prose pavilion will also feature student champions from Poetry Out Loud, an NEA and Poetry Foundation program in which high-school students memorize and perform classic and contemporary poems in competition. The Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center, the National Endowment for the Arts and the poetry organization Split This Rock will also present the National Book Festival Youth Poetry Slam, which will showcase slammers from Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.
C-SPAN2’s Book TV will be live from this year’s National Book Festival – as it has been for every festival. Its coverage of the festival will include author presentations and author call-in segments from the Book TV set. The network will also provide its ever-popular festival bag – this year in blue – available at information booths, the bookstore and at the Book TV exhibit on the exposition floor. "First Ladies: Presidential Historians on the Lives of 45 Iconic American Women," by Susan Swain and C-SPAN will be available in the festival bookstore.
The Junior League of Washington (JLW) will return as the Library’s primary partner for volunteer support, a role the organization has played since 2003. More than 400 JLW volunteers will manage the book-signing lines and staff other locations throughout the festival. The JLW is committed to promoting volunteerism, improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers and developing the potential of women. Learn more about the JLW, its mission and its focus on literacy at the JLW table.
The festival heads to Mars with National Geographic and Buzz Aldrin, the pioneering astronaut, rocket scientist, advocate for Mars exploration and author of the new children's book "Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet." Aldrin will speak in the Children's pavilion at 1:20 p.m. and sign books from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Meanwhile, in the National Geographic exhibit, festival-goers of all ages can get an Interplanetary Experience. Take space-selfies, play the "Pack Your Bag for Mars" game, enjoy the coloring station and learn tons of weird-but-true space facts. There will also be a chance to win exciting prizes and take some fun home with great giveaways.
Scholastic returns to the festival with an array of giveaways, tips and titles to help inspire the joy and power of reading and "Open a World of Possible" for all children. Young festival-goers can pose for a photo with their favorite literary characters and join in the arts-and-crafts fun by coloring and glittering special character pages. The whole family can kick back and relax in the reading corner, which will feature exciting new Scholastic releases and read-alouds scheduled every hour. Stop by and visit staff and volunteers from WAMU 88.5 FM, a festival media partner, to learn more about WAMU 88.5 programs and to pick up giveaways. WAMU 88.5 FM is one of the top news and information radio stations in the Washington, D.C. region and the leading NPR public radio station in the nation’s capital. It provides comprehensive local, national and global news and is home to award-winning hosts and reporters, such as Diane Rehm and Kojo Nnamdi.
Young children and their families can share the joy of early-math learning at the Mathical Station sponsored by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute. Throughout the day, authors of Mathical storybooks will meet and greet kids and their families. Kids can sign up that day for mini-workshops on geometric balloon bending. The schedule also includes a chance to play apps and activities for early math learning, "e-book storytime with mathy tales" and a fold-and-create art activity for kids of all ages. Kids of all ages are encouraged to play! Many of the Mathical: Books for Kids from Tots to Teen - a new youth book prize honoring the most inspiring math-related fiction and nonfiction books - will be available in the festival bookstore.
The Mensa Education & Research Foundation is working with the Library for a fourth year to create a festival poster Eye Spy activity and a Children’s Guide to the festival. The guide will be available online at, and at information booths.

The National Book Festival is funded by private donors and corporate sponsors who share the Library’s commitment to reading and literacy. Since 2010, National Book Festival Board Co-Chairman David M. Rubenstein has been the festival’s lead benefactor and has pledged funding for the festival for five more years. Charter Sponsors include AARP, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, The Washington Post and Wells Fargo; Patron sponsor, the National Endowment for the Arts; the Contributor-level sponsors are C-SPAN2’s Book TV, Jacqueline B. Mars, The Junior League of Washington, National Geographic, Scholastic Inc. and WAMU 88.5 FM; and, in the Friends category, the Marshall B. Coyne Foundation Inc., the Cultural Institute of the Embassy of Mexico in the United States, The Embassy of Peru in Washington, D.C., Georgetown University’s Department of Spanish and Portuguese, the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, The Hay-Adams, Inter-American Development Bank, The Jefferson Hotel, Susan Carmel Lehrman, the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute with support from board chair Roger A. Strauch, Mensa Education & Research Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, NPR, Small Press Expo and Split This Rock. Those interested in supporting the National Book Festival can contact the Library at

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions.
The Library’s Center for the Book, established by Congress in 1977 to "stimulate public interest in books and reading," is a national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages through its affiliated state centers, collaborations with nonprofit reading promotion partners and through the Library’s Young Readers Center and the Poetry and Literature Center. For more information, visit

This news release was originally published on July 24, 2015 by the Library of Congress and features the Junior League of Washington. JLW thanks the LOC for our partnership and allowing us to share this information with you.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

JLW Leadership Vacancies: Stand Up and Serve

Know a bright STAR? Nominate her today! Interested in taking the next step with JLW? We love self-nominations!  

The Nominating Committee is seeking nominations to fill two leadership positions for the 2015-2016 JLW year. Please contact as soon as possible, as we hope to fill these positions quickly.

Community Outreach Chair – Community Outreach plays a critical role on the Community Affairs Council by exploring and developing new literacy partnerships and efforts across DC.  Most recently, the committee has supported DC Public Library programming, while also executing the JLW Poetry Contest and leading JLW’s Community Roundtable, a group that includes leaders from other non-profits and literacy-focused organizations in the DC area. The Chair for Community Outreach leads the support of these initiatives and also works closely with the Community Affairs Council Director and President-Elect on the Community Roundtable.

Sustainer Vice Chair – The Sustainer Committee plans educational and cultural programs, along with volunteer opportunities, for JLW Sustainers. The Vice Chair works closely with the Sustainer Chair to provide strategic direction to the Sustainer group, focusing on member engagement and participation.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Horton's Kids by Karen Garnick

JLW volunteers in the Horton’s Kids Committee have many opportunities for direct interaction with students enrolled in the Horton’s Kids program, including helping with after school tutoring on Mondays and Tuesdays, attending monthly field trips, and throwing Holiday parties. Every spring, JLW organizes an Easter Party for around 100 of the younger students in the program, which is approaching on Sunday, March 29th. The committee holds a meeting beforehand to map out a plan, organize supplies, and sign up for activity stations.

The day of the party, committee members arrive hours before the kids to transform the Cannon Caucus Room. They decorate the space with balloons, crepe paper, festive wall decorations, and colorful tablecloths. When the bus arrives, the kids are bouncing up and down with excitement for what lies ahead. During the party, activities are run by JLW volunteers, which include decorating cookies, face painting, making Easter bunnies from cotton balls, and guessing how many jelly beans are in a jar (the winner gets to take it home!) They are also offered a healthy lunch to balance out all the candy and sweets. One of the long-time Horton’s Kids volunteers dresses up at the Easter Bunny, which the kids absolutely LOVE. Throughout the party, the kids are taken in groups outside to hunt for Easter eggs, which is always a highlight. Horton’s Kids families live in subsidized housing in Ward 8, where it isn’t always safe for the kids to play outside, and there isn’t space for an Easter egg hunt. This event allows for a fun and safe environment for the kids to run around and play with each other, and celebrate the season.

After a few hours of sugar, games, and laughter, the kids are ready to crash. They hop on the bus and head back to their community center with bags full of candy, treats, and lots of good memories.

Horton’s Kids’ mission is to empower at-risk children and prepare them for successful and healthy lives through educational opportunities and comprehensive programs tailored to their needs. Volunteers are still the driving force behind Horton’s Kids, serving as positive role models for the children and helping the children succeed. For more information, please visit their website: