Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and NASA teamed up for an African-American History Month celebration to get students over the moon about reading on Feb. 8 at Ferebee-Hope Elementary School in Southeast Washington, D.C.

Leland Melvin, a former astronaut and NASA’s associate administrator for education, shared his experiences traveling in space and read-aloud, {The Moon Over Star} by Dianna Hutts Aston and illustrator Jerry Pinkney.

The event was part of RIF’s DC Initiative, a program that serves more than 15,000 children in nearly 50 schools by distributing more than 50,000 free books annually.

Founded in 1966, RIF motivates children to read by working with them, their parents, and community members to make reading a fun and beneficial part of everyday life. RIF’s highest priority is reaching underserved children from birth to age 8. For more information and to access reading resources, visit RIF’s website at