January 11, 2017- On Wednesday, representatives from the Department of Education’s White House Liaison Office (WHLO) and the Department of Education presented the Everybody Wins! DC (EW!DC) Power Lunch program at Amidon-Bowen Elementary School with over 80 new books, collected by employees during a holiday book drive. The books will be added to the Power Lunch bookcarts at Amidon-Bowen where students and their Reading Mentors can enjoy them during their weekly reading sessions.

At the event, Monae White from the WHLO told the students, “You are the future we are working for. We hope that these books will help you continue on your path towards a life-long love of reading.”

In addition to the generous book donations, 7 employees from the Department of Education shadowed Reading Pairs. Seeing the Power Lunch program in action helped highlight the work EW!DC does bringing the love of reading to thousands of elementary school students each school year. This event is part of a larger effort from the Department called Educator Appreciation Week (#ThankaTeacher) during which ED career and political staff members acknowledge the hard work of educators who work with our nation’s children to start 2017 on a positive note!

EW!DC’s Power Lunch program links eager young minds with adult professionals who give an hour of their time each week to read and talk with children over the lunch hour. The goal of the Power Lunch program is to reach young children and help transform their lives through reading, by providing them with caring Reading Mentors who read one-on-one with them each week over the school year. Over the past twenty-two years, thousands of Reading Mentors from Capitol Hill, government agencies, corporations, local businesses, and other organizations have made this vision a reality. The mentors promote reading for pleasure, serve as caring adult role models, build self-confidence, and enhance self-esteem.

Currently, more than 40 Department of Education employees volunteer their time to read with a student each week in the Power Lunch program. For more information about signing up to be a Reading Mentor, please contact Melanie Holland at mholland@everybodywinsdc.org.