Read to Dream 2023

Over 200 guests joined EWDC on March 23rd at the Planet Word Museum for our biggest event of the year, Read to Dream. This annual fundraiser celebrates the magic of reading, the power of EWDC's programs, and the people who make our work so special. Read to Dream also raises the funds needed to bring our programs to communities across the region at no charge to families, schools, or community partners.


The highlight of the evening were the 5 current and former EWDC students who took the stage to share their love of our programs. Laila, Gidget, Curtis, A’lyiah, and Mia all spoke to the positive impact of EWDC programs and the joy our mentors bring to children’s lives. Guests also heard from Dr. Jasmine Brann, principal at Tyler Elementary School, and Renee LaRue, librarian at Savoy Elementary School. Both spoke to the sense of community and joy that EWDC bring to their schools and how EWDC programs enrich students' lives.


Click here to learn more about the positive impact EWDC and Read to Dream has on the children and communities we serve.


Meet our 2021 Read to Dream Honorees


EWDC is proud to recognize the 2021 and 2022 Association Book Drive Challenge participants as our 2023 Power Player honorees.

EWDC's annual Association Book Drive Challenge – a friendly competition to see which trade association can donate the most books to EWDC – has added more than 10,000 new books to EWDC’s shelves. These books, the majority of which elevate diverse characters, perspectives, and experiences, are then distributed through EWDC programs, helping children build personal libraries that engage their minds, encourage their growth, and inspire their futures.

Through their support of EWDC and our book distribution program, these 21 Associations have had a powerful impact on the lives of children across the DC region. That is why we are honored to recognize each organization as a true Power Player that is making a difference through reading.   

The AIC team believes in the magic of books and that helping children read will help empower them to achieve their own dreams. We joined the challenge because this friendly competition is fun and will directly improve our local community. We’re honored to support the Association and look forward to competing again next year!

Drew Maloney, AIC President & CEO


  • American International Automobile Dealers Association (2021 Challenge Winner)
  • American Investment Council (2022 Challenge Winner)

  • American Petroleum Institute

  • Alliance for Automotive Innovation

  • American Bankers Association

  • American Beverage Association

  • American Council of Life Insurers

  • American Exploration and Production Council

  • American Forest & Paper Association

  • American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers

  • Consumer Brands Association

  • Consumer Technology Association

  • Edison Electric Institute

  • Finseca

  • Interstate Natural Gas Association of America

  • National Retail Federation

  • Personal Care Products Council

  • The Business Council

  • US Tire Manufacturers Association

  • US Travel Association

2023 Community Champion Award

EWDC is honored to award Karl Racine with the 2023 Community Champion Award for his commitment to service and the positive impact he has had on our students.

For children to truly thrive, they need people to stand up and support their futures. Mr. Racine, who just completed two terms as the District of Columbia’s first elected Attorney General, is just that person. Throughout his career, Mr. Racine has prioritized the needs of the most vulnerable – including District youth – to ensure all have a fair and equitable shot at success. Whether it be during his time at the D.C. Public Defender Service, with the White House, reforming the juvenile justice system as DC’s Attorney General, or reading an hour a week with a Power Readers student, Karl puts his commitment to service into action.

“EWDC and its programs are an investment in our young people and their future — you can’t put a price tag on that,” said Karl Racine. “I’ve observed EWDC in the community for more than a decade and I can tell you firsthand: once a young person is introduced to the joy of reading, it can never be taken away from them.”

Karl Racine

2023 Distinguished Service Award

EWDC is honored to recognize Arielle Elliott with our Distinguished Service award. Leading the EWDC Board of Directors from January 2019 through December 2022, Arielle’s commitment to our students ensured the organization stayed true to our mission while navigating new obstacles presented by the global pandemic. Her work to recruit partners and volunteers, secure needed financial support, and manage Board operations, ensured that EWDC was best prepared to meet our communities emerging needs while putting us on a long-term path to success. For that, the entire EWDC community will be forever grateful and we honor her service to our students.

“Before the pandemic, Everybody Wins was a way for me to connect with my love of reading and share that with other people. I was a bookworm growing up and helping young kids discover the joy of getting lost in a book- an amazing story or adventure and a way to see the world through new eyes felt like a great mission. During and after the pandemic, the mission has changed for me and is more about restoring in kids the joy in reading and learning that they weren’t able to experience when schools were closed. I’m incredibly proud of how EWDC figured out how to reach kids in new ways when we were not able to see them in person. We connected through their communities, book drives, and little free libraries- all things we had never done before but were suddenly essential. While I constantly feel like we can never do enough, I’m hopeful that we had an impact on kids during what was a tumultuous time.”

Arielle Elliott

Read to Dream Host Committee

Amir Afkhami, MD, The George Washington University Hospital
Hastie Afkhami, S3 Group
Amy Bess, Vedder Price
Aryssa Damron, DC Public Library
Monique Evans, Women For Women International
Alisha Felder, National Community Reinvestment Coalition
Crispus Gordon, Monumental Sports & Entertainment
Arnold Koonin, Morgan Stanley
Gloria Koonin, Educator
Scott Kreter, Truist Wealth
Tanya Kreter, Retired
 Gerry Lamb, Strategic Marketing Innovations
Catherine Lux Fry, Vetted Solutions
Jacqueline Moen, EVERFI
Anne Owl, Generation Hope
Mary Salander, EWDC Co-Founder & Former Executive Director
Mike Viola, American Petroleum Institute
Abby Wilhelm, Former Chief of Staff, DC Attorney General


Read to Dream Sponsors

Reading Champions: $20,000+
American Petroleum Institute
Bloomberg Philanthropies
Mark Young & Rachel Carren

Learning Leader: $10,000+
JBG Smith
FGS Global

Book Benefactor: $5,000+
Barbara Faculjak & Jim McCarthy
Mike & Cathy Burton
Jill & Mike Sommers
Monumental Sports & Entertainment
John Fish
Richard Mintz
Huron Philanthropies
American Investment Council
UHY Advisors

Story Supporter: $2,500+
Charles River Associates
Power Pyles Sutter & Verville
Gerry Lamb & Mary McGann
Mary & Jim Salander
American Express
Truist Personal Wealth
Amy Bess & Jeffrey Lesher
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
Jim & Karen Beardsley
Bruce and Lori Dubinsky
Washington Fine Properties
Josh & Sarah Eastright
Rob Portman & Annette Simon
Nick Pearson & Lauren O'Brien
Howard & Gail Campbell Woolley
Waxman Strategies

Event Supporter: $1,000+
American Resort Development Association
Amy Andryszak
Stacy O'Mara
Carmen Brannan