Everybody Wins! DC News & Events

Chairman Gray Kicks Off 15th Year

By EW!DC / Published: 11/20/2009

Learning experiences come in all shapes and sizes and most often they arrive unexpectedly.  On Thursday, November 5th, DC City Council Chairman Vincent Gray weaved important life lessons while reading Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox to Reading Mentors and students at Thomson Elementary as part of Everybody Wins! DC’s (EW!DC) 15th Anniversary Kick-off event.


Roald Dahl’s richly imaginative tale of the adventure of Mr. Fox and his three rather mean and wealthy farmer adversaries Boggis, Bunce and Bean captivated the attention of  students and mentors alike.  Chairman Gray engaged students by requesting volunteers to provide their interpretations of events as they unfolded in the story focusing on character traits and vocabulary questions.  


Before embarking on Mr. Fox’s incredible adventure, Chairman Gray established a connection with the students by noting that he is a product of the District of Columbia Public Schools (Logan Elementary School, Langley Jr. High School, and Dunbar High School).  Chairman Gray was “delighted to hear about mentors coming to schools on a weekly basis” through the EW!DC program.   Most importantly, Chairman Gray noted his admiration for the students for participating in the Power Lunch program and encouraged them to keep doing so. 


To wrap-up the event, EW!DC’s Board Chairman and Kirkland & Ellis LLP partner Mark Young thanked the mentors for the time they take from their schedule each week to participate in the program.  As a Reading Mentor for the past twelve years, he pointed out that the mentors often get more out of the mentoring experience then the students. According to EW!DC Executive Director Mary Salander, “ While the event was designed to be a very special kick-off event to commence our 15th year of the Power Lunch Program, the event was at it’s essence a very accurate reflection of our program.  The day featured a great story being shared by a caring professional who captivated the imagination of a student or in this instance a group of students.  At its very core, this is what our Reading Mentors do on a daily basis.” 


To learn how your group can get involved with or sponsor the Power Lunch Program please click here

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"Seeing her become more confident and her love of reading increase has been such a joy to watch."
"It's mostly fun to read and watch her become such a confident reader and learn to love reading as much as I do. She is one of my best friends."
"When an adult helps a child, it tells that child how special they are. We send a message to the child- you are important to me- that is powerful and undeniable."
"It's a fantastic program, and I think the mentors get as much, if not more, than the student. You meet wonderful kids and have lots of fun."
"When I read, I learn and grow-- you know, like Jack and the Beanstalk kind of growing and that's really big!"
"I wish Everybody Wins was everyday!"