The world of books offers children endless opportunities for discovery and adventure, learning and development. For 25 years, The Reading Connection has helped open up that world to at-risk children and parents by bringing literacy services and programs into emergency shelters, domestic violence safe houses, long-term shelters, and transitional housing. And as families move to more permanent homes, The Reading Connection puts books on their shelves and integrates literature into their lives. Read-Aloud trains volunteers to read to, and engage with, children in local shelters; Book Club makes available to families brand new books and reading activities; Reading Families Workshops help adults increase their confidence about reading to their children; and ongoing training allows social workers and staff to further their knowledge about language play and acquisition. The Reading Connection serves over 1,500 children and 400 families at 20 different partner sites in DC and Northern Virginia – putting 11,000 new books into the hands of over 1,500 children a year. Your help opens new chapters in their lives.

Headquarters: VA-Arlington County

Where They Operate: DC-Ward 7; VA-Arlington County; VA-Fairfax County; VA-City of Alexandria

Age Groups Served: Pre-K (3-4); Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24)

Ethnic Groups Served: African American; Asian American; Caucasian; Latino/Hispanic; Other

Awards & Recognition

Arlington Read-Aloud Volunteers recognized as Connect with Kids Champions 2016. Champions are ordinary people who make an extraordinary effort to let young people know they are cared for and valued in the Arlington community.

2014 James B. Hunter Human Rights Award from the Arlington Human Rights Commission. The James B. Hunter Award recognizes sustained commitment and/or outstanding accomplishment in the area of human rights made in Arlington by an individual, community group, non-profit organization or business.

Finalist - 2014 Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management; Center for Nonprofit Advancement.

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit Award from GreatNonprofits. GreatNonprofits is the leading provider of user reviews about nonprofit organizations.

New Hope Housing's annual Volunteer Recognition Awards: In the category of "Family Program Volunteers" The Reading Connection @ Next Steps was recognized on June 6, 2013.

Stephanie Berman - Capital One Bank Community Champion presented by the Washington Mystics – June 30, 2013. Heros in our community who truly make a real and lasting difference in the communities we call home.

Stephanie Berman - Sandra Lee Fitch Volunteer Administrator of the Year Award. This award is given to recognize leaders in the field of volunteer administration within the Northern VA Association for Volunteer Administration membership. May 14, 2014.


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Budget (FY2012)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • The current budget for The Reading Connection is: Less than $500k

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