Reading Is Fundamental

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Washington, DC, Feb. 9, 2017 – A powerful Business Roundtable literacy report that addresses the increasingly acute “skills gap” U.S. companies are facing and offers a cohesive policy agenda to improve early reading proficiency marks a critical call to action for the business community and policymakers alike, according to Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the country’s leading literacy champion for children’s literacy.

WHY READING MATTERS AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT: A CEO Action Plan To Support U.S. Literacy Rates, published by the Business Roundtable, makes a compelling case for why reading skills are foundational for success in work and life, with advanced skills being critical in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, and prescribes a comprehensive action plan of six policy steps to ensure reading proficiency by third grade.

“We have a literacy crisis in this country, with nearly 2 out of 3 fourth graders reading below grade level,” said Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) President and CEO Alicia Levi. “This not only is tragic for the individual children and adults involved but, as this report points out, it is creating a huge skills shortage.”

“For 50 years, RIF has worked to promote literacy and help overcome the early learning gap,” Levi added. “The recommendations in the Business Roundtable report track with much of what we know through our research, including the Department of Education-funded study that led to RIF’s highly effective Read for Success program.  We applaud the Business Roundtable for its leadership in this critical area and look forward to working with its members, including a number of our RIF partners such as longtime literacy activists Macy’s and Duke Energy, to help insure every child has the opportunity to achieve his or her highest potential.”

 About Reading Is Fundamental

Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) is committed to a literate America by inspiring a passion for reading among all children, providing quality content to create impact, and engaging communities in the solution to give every child the fundamentals for success. As a champion for children’s literacy since 1966, RIF has provided more than 412 million books to 40 million RIF kids over 50 years, inspiring generations to read, learn and grow. Sign up for our newsletter at www.rif.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to learn more.