HIPPY Honors Carol H. Rasco with Avida D. Lombard Award for Support of Early Childhood Education
St. Petersburg, Fla.—April 14, 2008—Home Instruction Program for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) has awarded Carol H. Rasco, Reading Is Fundamental’s president and CEO, with their Avida D. Lombard Award at their 20th anniversary national convention held here, April 13-16.
Avida Lombard founded HIPPY in Israel in 1969 to advance the role of parents in early childhood education. The parent involvement and school readiness program prepares preschoolers for school by empowering parents as primary educators of their children in the home. The organization has programs worldwide, including in the U.S. at nearly 150 locations serving 16,000 children and families in 25 states and the District of Columbia.
“Carol Rasco is being honored for a lifetime of exceptional work and support in the field of early childhood education,” said Duane Booker, executive director of HIPPY USA, based in Little Rock, Ark. “As a teacher, a former HIPPY board member, state and domestic policy advisor to President Bill Clinton, at the U.S. Department of Education, and now as head of Reading Is Fundamental, Carol has been a true leader in promoting the benefits of preparing young children for success in school and beyond.”
RIF programs serve 4.6 million children, with an emphasis on birth to age 8, by providing free books, literacy resources, and reading motivational activities to children and the adults that care for and teach them. A number of HIPPY programs participate in RIF book distributions. In 2007, Rasco led the launch of a new early childhood RIF website called Leading to Reading, which offers parents of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers a range of free stories, nursery rhymes and other activities designed to help build children’s language skills. The site is also available in Spanish.
Rasco has served as RIF’s CEO and president since November 2001. She previously was executive director of government relations for the College Board, a senior advisor to U.S. Secretary of Education, Richard W. Riley, and Domestic Policy Advisor under President Clinton.
HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters) is a research-based program that works with families in the home to support parents in their critical role as their child’s first and most influential teachers. HIPPY strengthens our communities and families, empowers parents and helps children realize their full potential by starting school ready to learn. Contact: Teri Todd, 501-537-7726, ttodd@HIPPYUSA.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 4.6 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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