Congressman Joseph Cao Joins RIF and CIS Greater New Orleans to Promote Children's Literacy
Local Elementary School Students Encouraged to Dream for their Futures
NEW ORLEANS, May 7, 2010—Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and Communities In Schools (CIS) New Orleans today hosted Congressman Joseph A. Cao (LA-2) for a special read-aloud to 3rd through 5th grade students at William J. Fischer Accelerated Academy in New Orleans. The read-aloud was part of the CIS - Greater New Orleans RIF program's third book distribution of the school year, and 375 students received a book for their home libraries.
"Teaching children how to read is essential to developing an educated and competitive work force, and the RIF Inexpensive Book Distribution program is a great way to get books in the hands of young readers. That is why I am so enthusiastic in my support for RIF and Communities in Schools," said Congressman Anh "Joseph" Cao.
The literacy event promoted reading as a tool for children to pursue their dreams in life. Congressman Cao, a key advocate for RIF and children's literacy, shared his story of success and the importance of reading with the students. Recently, Congressman Cao joined 100 of his colleagues in signing a letter urging Congress to reinstate federal funding for the RIF Inexpensive Book Distribution program in the FY2011 budget.
"Reading is one of the ways that children can begin exploring different opportunities for their futures," said Sara Massey, executive director of CIS - Greater New Orleans. "We are thrilled that Congressman Cao could join us in New Orleans to encourage students to begin thinking of their dreams and how reading can help them achieve their goals."
To date, the CIS - Greater New Orleans RIF program has provided 7,500 books for local children this school year. Last August, students at six Orleans parish schools received 2,500 books through the "United We Read" initiative launched by RIF, CIS - Greater New Orleans, and the National PTA as part of President Obama's United We Serve campaign. Following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the CIS - Greater New Orleans RIF program has provided more than 12,000 books to elementary school children in seven Orleans parish public schools.
About Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans
Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans is the Louisiana affiliate of the nation's leading dropout prevention organization. Communities In Schools surrounds students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. Working in 3200 schools in 26 states and the District of Columbia, Communities In Schools serves more than 1.4 million children and their families every year. It is the only organization proven to both increase graduation rates and decrease dropout rates. CIS Greater New Orleans is working with ten K-12 schools in New Orleans, coordinating direct services for more than 1200 students. Visit our website at www.CISNewOrleans.org.
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 4.5 million children with 16 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.
Discover the Joy!
Melissa Mills, RIF