61 RIF Programs Selected to Receive $800,000 in Literacy Grants
WASHINGTON, October 24, 2011—Today Reading Is Fundamental, the nation’s largest children’s literacy nonprofit, announced that 61 programs reaching the most undeserved children in 37 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico will receive a combined total of $800,000 in literacy grants. The grants will enhance local RIF programs working to create memorable and exciting literacy experiences that will inspire a lifetime of reading in children. The funds were raised during RIF’s 2011 Be Book Smart campaign in partnership with Macy’s.
Nationwide, RIF programs are struggling to meet the increased need for an inexpensive book distribution program without the support of the federal government. Earlier this year, Congress eliminated $25 million in federal funding for the organization at a time when there are limited options for children and families to access free books and more children are living in poverty than in previous decades.
“We recognize the severe impact the loss of the federal grant is having on RIF programs juggling tighter budgets and more children and families depending on their services,” said Carol H. Rasco. “RIF is thankful to Macy’s and their customers for stepping up to support dedicated programs working to improving literacy in local communities, but federal funding is key in order for the program to continue uninterrupted.
Since 2004, RIF’s partnership with Macy’s has raised more than $21 million to support children’s literacy through customer-supported fundraising campaigns, in-store events, and volunteer activities. Last year, Macy’s supported RIF programs that provided 3.6 million free books to more than 1.2 million children and donated 350 multicultural book collections to RIF programs throughout the country.
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 provided 4 million children with 15 million new, free books and literacy resources last year. For more information and to access reading resources, visit RIF’s website at www.rif.org.
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