Marion Children to Benefit from Launch of New Reading Is Fundamental Program
—Dollar General Corporation Provides Funding —
MARION, Ind., April 30, 2007—Hoping to encourage more Marion area children to read for fun, the Dollar General Corporation has teamed up with Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF), the nation’s largest children's literacy organization, to provide 14,000 free books to more than 4,300 children in the area.
During the next 12 months, children at 12 area elementary schools will have the opportunity to select three free new books to own during RIF book distributions. Dollar General, which has a regional distribution center in Marion, is providing $36,000 to fund the book distributions and literacy program.
"This new program encourages children to read more for fun, which research has shown leads to improved reading scores," said Andrew Nixon, superintendent of the Marion Community Schools. "We applaud Dollar General for making theses RIF programs possible in Marion."
"We all have a vested stake in the educational success of our children," said Ken Counce, manager of the Dollar General distribution center in Marion. "As a company with many employees and their families living in the Marion area, as well as a deep commitment to literacy and education, we are proud to help start these RIF programs. We believe that by investing in this program, we are not only investing in the future of these children, but also the future of Marion."
Each school in these new programs will plan three book distributions during the year, which allows students to choose three new books for their home libraries. School officials and volunteers make the RIF distribution events fun to excite children about reading. "RIF distributions often include guest readers, entertainment, motivational speakers, games and contests," said Carol Rasco, RIF president and CEO.
"RIF programs help children develop a life-long love of reading," said Rasco. "First children learn to read for fun, and then they read to learn. The more children read, the better they often do in school."
The schools in the new RIF programs are:
- GasCity: Northview Elementary
- Jonesboro: Westview Elementary
- Marion: Allen Elementary; Frances Slocum Elementary; Kendall Elementary; Lincoln Elementary; Riverview Elementary; Southeast Elementary and Washington Elementary
- Matthews: Matthews Elementary
- Upland: Upland Elementary
- Van Buren: Van Buren Elementary
With the support of Congress, the U.S. Department of Education and private funders, last year RIF distributed more than 16 million books to nearly 4.5 million children across the country. Almost 89 percent of the federal funds were used to purchase books. In addition, RIF volunteers leveraged the federal dollars to raise an additional $9.2 million to support book ownership.
Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF), founded in 1966, 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. Through community volunteers in every state and U.S. territory, RIF provides 4.6 million children with 15 million new, free books and literacy resources each year. For more information and to access reading resources, visit RIF’s website at www.rif.org.
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About Dollar General
Dollar General is a Fortune 500® discount retailer with more than 8,000 neighborhood stores. Dollar General stores offer convenience and value to customers by offering consumable basic items that are frequently used and replenished, such as food, snacks, health and beauty aids and cleaning supplies, as well as a selection of basic apparel, house wares and seasonal items at everyday low prices. The company has a longstanding tradition of supporting literacy and education in the U.S. In 2006, the company supported nonprofit organizations that helped more than 292,600 individuals take their first steps toward literacy, a general education diploma or English proficiency. For more information about Dollar General, go to www.dollargeneral.com.
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