Celebration Week 2021

This year, Everybody Wins DC (EWDC) elected not to host a gala, but instead, our first-ever Digital Celebration Week. From June 7 through June 11 we highlighted each of our core reading programs – The Book Project, StoryTime, and Power Readers – and the students, volunteers, and partners who made our work possible during school year 2020-2021. Here are some of our favorite highlights:

Day 1: About EWDC

EWDC welcomed new members to the Board of Directors and Associate Board. Meet:

Board of Directors 

  • Rob Portman, Powers, Pyles, Sutter & Verville PC 
  • Chris Cook, Senate Professional Staff Member

Associate Board 

  • Steven Lucas, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC)
  • Jen Briones, Credential Engine
  • Aryssa Damron, DC Public Library  
  • Jacqueline Moen, EVERFI

We are thrilled to have these dedicated volunteers join our team and help EWDC do even more to help children thrive through reading. 

Day 2: The Book Project

On day 2 of Celebration Week, we highlighted one of our newest programs, The Book Project, and how it helped children thrive through reading. 

Check out this video for an introduction to The Book Project and see our staff, volunteers, and students in action!

We surpassed our Book Project goal! With the help of our community partners, schools, and supporters, we have already given out 6,000 free books to thousands of students throughout the DC region. And we aren’t done yet.

(2020-2021 The Book Project’s Footprint)

The Book Project – In Their Words: Our Book Project partners, volunteers and recipients Tasara, Emmanuel, Marcus, Rebecca, Sandeep and Kelly speak about what The Book Project has meant to them.

Phyllis Hines-Perdue (AARP) was honored as the 2021 Volunteer of the Year. Because of Phyllis and her volunteerism, 775 children received personal letters of support tucked in their Book Project books. That’s 775 children who received love and encouragement from someone other than their parent, caregiver, or teacher. And sometimes, that can make all the difference in a child’s life. Meet Phyllis:

Day 3: StoryTime

On day 3 of Celebration Week, we highlighted the StoryTime program and the amazing stories we’ve been able to share with the help of our partners, volunteers and students.

This year EWDC engaged 200 participants over 20 StoryTimes. Even more important is that this year, StoryTime was centered on three key developmental themes: career awareness, social-emotional growth, and current events. You can see some of our favorite StoryTime highlights from this year and school year 2019-2020 below!

We introduced the “Ask a Librarian” series: “Ask a Librarian” expands the reach of StoryTime by giving children the opportunity to ask questions about books, important topics, and everything in between. Hosted by expert children’s librarian, Miss Aryssa. Watch here.

EVERFI was honored as the 2021 Partner of the Year.

EVERFI is one of EWDC’s newer partners, but has made an incredible impact to date. They have served as Power Readers mentors, hosted a book drive that brought in more than $1,000 worth of new reading materials for students, and helped distribute books to Little Free Library locations across the city. EVERFI also sponsored last week’s Trivia Night, which helped EWDC raise $2,500 to support Celebration Week.

We are immensely grateful to have EVERFI’s support and look forward to continue our partnership for years to come! Meet EVERFI:

Day 4: Power Readers

On day 4 of Celebration Week, we highlighted what has been at our core since day one: the power of a mentor.

Unlike tutoring programs, Power Readers puts the focus on building relationships through reading. Though these connections, students develop literacy and social-emotional skills needed to thrive at school and in life. And while this year’s program was a bit different, having moved from libraries and classrooms to Zoom breakout rooms, the excitement, joy and impact are all the same. See for yourself!

Power Readers – In Their Words: Our Power Readers mentors and students speak about what the Power Readers program has meant to them this school year.

Terry Johnson (The Washington Post) was honored as the 2021 Mentor of the Year.
Mentors are at the heart of EWDC’s success. Our mentors give their time, their energy, and their support to our students. And some go above and beyond to make sure every moment of a Power Readers session is as special as possible for their student.

We are incredibly honored to have Terry as part of the EWDC family and her enthusiasm and commitment is a true reminder of how important our work is each and every day. Please join EWDC in congratulating Terry Johnson as this year’s Mentor of the Year! 

Day 5: EWDC’s Next Steps

Looking back at the year, we are incredibly proud of what we accomplished together: 110 one-on-one virtual Power Readers sessions per week, 20+ StoryTime events hosted, 6,000+ free books distributed and over 20 new partnerships. Here is our commitment to you: Next year, EWDC is doing even more.

We’re growing Power Readers, offering sessions at lunch and during afterschool, both virtually and via a hybrid model. We’re also going beyond our traditional public schools, adding community organizations and charter schools to the Power Readers program so we can better reach children who are in most need of our support. StoryTime will offer both large and small group experiences for students to engage through storytelling. The Book Project’s footprint will continue to grow as we find new ways to promote equitable access to books. 

Even more exciting? The School Year 2021-22 Volunteer Registration portal is now open and you can sign up today! Volunteers are at the heart of EWDC’s work and we are so grateful for the time and energy you give to our students. Together, we will make an incredible difference in students’ lives next year. We can’t wait! 
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