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!