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“The Spitfire Club. Changing the world, one book club at a time”

What We Do

The Spitfire Club is an extracurricular book club built around a collection of children's literature featuring strong, diverse, female protagonists. By creating demand for and building an inclusive community around diverse girl-positive books, The Spitfire Club enhances literacy and social-emotional skills, nurturing each Spitfire's love of reading, love of self, and love for Spitfires across all communities. 

Graphic that includes 5 sections in a circle. From top left to bottom left: to the left of “Learning from Mentors”, it says “Program leaders serve as role-models and are volunteers from within the community”. To the right of “Enriching Curriculum”, it says “Carefully curated (and fun!) curriculum leverages best practices in literacy enhancement, reading comprehension and critical thinking, all centered around girl-positive, diverse books”. To the right of “Creating the Space”, it says “Programming takes place in a  safe environment that is conveniently co-located with existing afterschool and summer programming”. Below “Living the Culture”, it says “Spitfire’s foundation is a deliberately designed culture that embodies the core values of tenacity, authenticity, curiosity, resilience, and empathy”. To the left of “Building Community”, it says “Participants build strong relationships with peers while also strengthening ties to their community through service”.

Spitfire partners with outside of school time programs (schools, affordable housing communities, recreation centers, libraries, and similar groups) to offer Spitfire Clubs on a weekly basis, with a focus on Spitfires who face structural and systemic barriers to literacy, visibility, opportunity, and liberation. We are a trusted, authentic, culturally responsive partner that embodies the Spitfire values of curiosity, resilience, empathy, authenticity, tenacity, and empowerment. 

Learn more about our ambitious vision and the impact we strive to have in our Theory of Change.

Who We Are

woman with a flower blouse and brown hair facing the camera and smiling. There are books behind her on shelves.


Executive Director

Amanda is the founder and Executive Director of The Spitfire Club, an innovative nonprofit book club and empowerment community for girls. Amanda launched Spitfire in Alexandria, Virginia in 2017 and has since built Spitfire to serve over 450 girls in the DC-metro area and beyond. Amanda offers her experience of over a decade working in nonprofit management, fundraising, and strategic planning, while also bringing to bear nine years’ experience in the classroom, including four years with a literacy nonprofit working in DC Public Schools and over five years leading ESOL instruction for members of the immigrant community. Amanda is Chair Emeritus of the Alexandria City Children Youth and Families Collaborative Commission and 2021 Alexandria Chamber of Commerce "Forty under Forty" recipient. She is a graduate of American University's School of International Service and of Georgetown University’s Nonprofit Executive Management Certificate Program.

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Program Manager

As Program Manager, Leslie Figueroa utilizes her vibrant energy, creativity, and deep experience leading out-of-school-time programs to oversee Spitfire's reading and empowerment programming. Leslie is a seasoned mentor who facilitated and managed after school mentoring programs for five years. Subsequently, Leslie was promoted to Mentor and Training Director for a national nonprofit, where she led recruitment, training, and placement of volunteer mentors from George Mason University. Leslie is bilingual in English and Spanish and she holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Human Development from Virginia Tech. Leslie is also certified in TEFL and EMT/First Aid. Fun fact: Leslie spent two summers during undergrad working as an EMT at a summer camp in upstate New York. 

Our Board of Directors

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Chair, Board of Directors

Saunji brings to Spitfire her deep expertise in monitoring and evaluation, nonprofit management, and research.  Saunji is a Monitoring and Evaluation Analyst at General Dynamics Information Technology.  Previously, Saunji worked as a researcher at The Urban Institute's Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy and she has taught classes on nonprofit leadership and management. She holds a Ph.D. in Public Administration and Policy from Virginia Tech and a B.A. in sociology from the University of Virginia. 

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Vice Chair, Board of Directors

Kelly Griffin has helped complicated organizations navigate significant strategy and culture changes for more than 20 years. She has served as a trusted advisor and thought partner of C-suite leaders, Board members, and department heads while leading teams through the process of creating strategic plans, driving strategy execution and performance measurement processes, and guiding change management. As a full-time employee, she led processes to identify major strategic shifts and build bridges to successful execution at three national organizations and a government agency. As a consultant, she serves nonprofit clients with missions from ending hunger to solving homelessness to correcting policing inequity to curing life-threatening disease. Her work with them helps clarify their strategies, improve their strategic agility, and drive toward measurable outcomes. She is also certified as an executive coach.

man with blue shirt and blazer facing the camera and smiling. There is a blurry office background behind him


Treasurer, Board of Directors

Marcus is dad to a phenomenal Spitfire (who LOVES to read) and he is also a strong supporter of our work. During the day, Marcus leads all functions of finance at Phase2 Technology as their Vice President of Finance. We are excited that he can bring to bear his expertise in maintaining healthy financials that align with organizational strategy and vision at Spitfire!

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Secretary, Board of Directors

Leigh is mom to three wonderful Spitfires and she has been a huge cheerleader for our organization since the very beginning! During the day, Leigh works as Co-Owner at Windmill Hill Design and Build. Leigh brings a deep passion for girls' empowerment, first-hand experience with parenting three Spitfires, a history of nonprofit board service, and deep knowledge in marketing and communications.

woman with clear safety glasses and dark hair facing the camera and smiling. She is holding up a book. There is a classroom whiteboard behind her


Member, Board of Directors

We first met Lorraine Rios while operating a Spitfire Club in her library! Lorraine began her education career as a school media specialist and she now teaches fifth grade. Lorraine is currently pursuing her Master of Teaching at The University of Virginia, studying ESOL instruction. Prior to her work in education, Lorraine was a chemical engineer and she is also an artist! In addition to being a real renaissance woman, she grew up in Puerto Rico and is bilingual. Lorraine is also very proud to share that she is "the FUN aunt!" Lorraine may seem familiar to you - in 2020, Lorraine led virtual Spitfire Clubs with our youngest readers, so she brings first-hand knowledge of what Spitfire programming is and could be!

woman with dark hair and brown shirt facing the camera and smiling. There is a dark blurry background behind her.


Member, Board of Directors

Danielle has been practicing law for 18 years, and is currently an attorney at Verizon, where she advises B2B leadership on strategic transactions and compliance matters. She moved to the DC area to attend Howard University School of Law, after receiving a BBA in International Business from the University of Georgia. She is the former President and Book Sale Chairperson for Friends of Duncan Library and she has also been on the boards of Alexandria Little League Little Hunting Park, and the Alexandria Country Day School, Maury Elementary, and Burgundy Farm PTAs. In her free time, Danielle can be found with a book — she is both an avid reader and finds joy in tsundoku. Her favorite books are The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord and Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. She is trying to learn to play bridge and believes Paris is always a good idea.

Spitfire is made possible by

Dominion Energy registered trademark logo
Jen Walker Team logo. Underneath it says "Spread kindness, build community".
Ting logo
Windmill Hill design build llc logo
City of Alexandria Virginia logo
The Comfort Family Foundation logo
Dollar General Literacy Foundation logo
Kiwanis logo
Rotary Club of Alexandria VA logo
Main Street Bank logo
The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia ‘22 grantee logo
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