Live, or Do Business in the Washington D.C. Area?

As I noted in the blog post, “Toward a Local Learning Infrastructure,” last month, Learning Life is pleased to announce two local initiatives launching in the coming weeks: a Weekly Learn, and a Napkin Education Initiative.  This post offers more details about these two new projects.

Washington D.C.Learning Life’s mission is to inform and empower more people by spreading knowledge on everyday surfaces, like napkins, placemats and posters as well as phones, tables and computers.  In pursuit of this mission and developing a local learning infrastructure, we are launching this September a free “Weekly Learn” where Learning Life is based in the Washington D.C. metro area.  Once a week, subscribers will receive an email containing a brief, interesting fact or set of facts about the history, economy, politics, people and/or organizations that shape and define the D.C. metro area.  It’s a new, free and easy way for D.C. area residents to learn more about their metro community.

The second developing project, the Napkin Education Initiative (NEI), will start spreading informative napkins in metro D.C. eateries in the coming months.  The NEI builds on the pilot public education project Learning Life conducted last December with D.C.’s Newseum, a private museum devoted to learning about news and journalism.  For last December’s project, Learning Life volunteers conducted street theater and distributed 10,000 interactive napkins (see the adjoining napkin graphic) in restaurants in several commercial centers of Washington D.C.  The napkins invited readers to learn about President John F. Kennedy, in light of the 50th anniversary of his assassination in November 2013, by taking a JFK quiz at Learning Life, after which quiz takers could get a discount to the Newseum’s JFK exhibits.  You can learn more about this JFK project by watching the short video we produced about the project and Learning Life’s approach.

Following on Learning Life’s JFK project, the NEI will offer selected nonprofits in metro D.C. the opportunity to promote their volunteer opportunities and low-cost or free services free on paper beverage napkins to be distributed in D.C. area restaurants, bars, cafes and other eateries.  The NEI will be run through our soon-to-be-formed partner organization, Signia Surfaces LLC.  Signia Surfaces will design, print and distribute the napkins on a monthly basis.  Each napkin will feature the nonprofit information on one side, and advertising on the other.  The advertising will provide companies, nonprofits and governments a new and innovative way to get their message out – on napkins in eateries – while simultaneously helping to promote local nonprofits and inform community residents.

If you live or do business in the D.C. metro area, you can sign up for our free Metro D.C. Weekly Learn, and find out more about the NEI here.  Interested napkin advertisers and metro D.C. nonprofits seeking free promotion are encouraged to contact us at  Stay tuned for more information about these projects in our next monthly newsletter!    

Paul Lachelier, Ph.D.
Founder, Learning Life