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EWDC brings shared reading programs to public elementary schools throughout the District and Virginia to help change lives and improve outcomes for students, volunteers, and communities. Since 1995, EWDC’s shared reading programs have served thousands of students in need with books.  

EWDC currently supports three shared reading programs: POWER LUNCH, THE BOOK PROJECT and STORYTIME

Power Lunch

Power Lunch connects elementary school students with caring volunteers to read together once a week during the students’ lunch hour. No curriculum, no lesson plans. Just spending quality time together, reading books they enjoy. Through this connection with a caring adult, students build essential skills that will help them succeed both in and out of the classroom.  

But Power Lunch is bigger than just the student. Everybody wins with Power Lunch!  

Students Win By:

  • Developing literacy and reading comprehension skills
  • Being exposed to new ideas and opportunities through their volunteers
  • Building a positive relationship with a caring adult, which helps develop self-confidence and other critical social-emotional skills
  • Improving listening, communication, and other interpersonal skills

Schools Win By:

  • Seeing improvements in their students’ literacy and social-emotional skills
  • Building connections with local organizations
  • Getting support for classroom learning without bearing any additional administrative burden or cost

Volunteers Win By:

  • Enjoying a meaningful way to give back to a student in need
  • Making a positive impact in a student’s life
  • Building connections with their own communities
  • Being able to take advantage of EWDC social and networking activities

Partner Organizations Win By:

  • Seeing increased employee engagement, productivity, job satisfaction, and retention
  • Making connections that could develop into future business and workforce opportunities
  • Partners receive recognition for their commitment to the community and for giving back to students in need


StoryTime hosts small shared group readings between students and community leaders, authors, and other invited guests to help expose children to new ideas and opportunities.

Guest readers include: DC Attorney General, Karl Racine, Jamie Lee Curtis, Congressman John Lewis, Jarrett Krosoczka, Daniel Barash and many more.

Check out our latest StoryTime featuring DC Attorney General Karl Racine HERE.


The Book Project

The Book Project extends the power of shared reading from school to home by giving away FREE books to Power Lunch students to build their personal home libraries. Because access to books in the home is critical to successful reading development.

It also gives FREE books to other students and teachers to help support general shared reading activities. In school year 2018-2019, The Book Project distributed more than 4,000 books to students.

Books given away through The Book Project are directly sourced from EWDC's monthly books drives.

Interested in supporting The Book Project? Email:              Sarah Aldridge -

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