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Macy's Donates Multicultural Book Collections to RIF Programs in Dayton

DAYTON, OHIO, August 6, 2007—Recognizing the growing need for diverse reading materials for today's youth, Macy's is donating more than 250 multicultural book collections to Reading Is Fundamental, Inc.(RIF) local programs—including 12 collections in Dayton.

RIF, the nation's oldest and largest children's literacy organization, is distributing the collections to kindergarten classrooms in low-income communities throughout the U.S. The collections donated by Macy's in Dayton will be presented to Mayor Rhine McLin in a special presentation during Radio One's (WDHT-FM) Russ Parr Bus tour event being held on Tuesday, August 7, 2007 at the Dayton Cultural and RTA Transit Center from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. These collections will go to 10 Dayton Public Schools and two Dayton YWCAs this fall.

"Dayton's children will benefit from these interesting book collections from Macy's and RIF," said Mayor Rhine McLin. "Getting children excited about reading at a younger age can foster a life-long love for reading and success in school."

Each collection includes 50 hard-bound books with themes related to African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Native American children and world culture themes. 

"There is growing research and awareness of the importance of children being exposed to books that reflect their own culture," said Violet Harris, professor of curriculum and instruction, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a member of RIF's multicultural literacy campaign advisory council. "When children see themselves in the books they read at a young age, they are more likely to want to read more often."

The collection offers a range of books to appeal to a diverse mix of children, including such titles and authors as:

  • Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee
    Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
  • Daddy’s Girl by Breena Jacobs
    Bookworm Books
  • Mama Panya’s Pancakes: A Village Tale from Kenya by Mary and Rich Chamberlin
    Barefoot Books
  • Yo, Jo by Rachel Isadora
    Harcourt Children’s Books
  • Babies Can’t Eat Kimchee! by Susan L. Roth
    Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books
  • Cuckoo: A Mexican Folktale/Cucú: Un cuento folklórico mexicano by Lois Ehlert
    Harcourt Brace
  • Family Pictures/Cuadros de familia by Carmen Lomas Garza
    Children’s Book Press
  • Waiting for Papá/Esperando a Papá by René Colato Laínez
    Arte Público Press
  • Children of Native America Today by Yvonne Wakim Dennis
    Charlesbridge Publishing
  • Bears Make Rock Soup: And Other Stories by Lise Erdrich
    Children’s Book Press

A full list of the titles is available at www.rif.org.

Last year, nearly 500,000 Macy's customers donated more than $1.2 million to support RIF programs during Macy's "Back to Books" fundraising campaign, which ran from July through September 2006. This was the largest customer-supported donation in RIF's 40-year history. 

"Thanks to the generosity of Macy's customers, we can support RIF's multicultural literacy campaign and its important mission to help all children excel in reading," said Tom Rau, General Manager Macy's Dayton Mall.

In June, RIF announced its multicultural literacy campaign, a multi-year effort to promote and support early childhood literacy in the African-American, Hispanic and Native American communities.

Reading scores among African-American, Hispanic, and Native American fourth graders significantly lag behind those of white and Asian children. According to the most recent U.S. Department of Education data, 76 percent of white and 73 percent of Asian children score at or above basic reading level compared to 42 percent of African-American, 46 percent of Hispanic and 48 percent of Native American children.

"These multicultural book collections give children of all backgrounds an opportunity to relate more to what they read," said Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of RIF. "We know from research that when children learn to love to read, they are more likely to read to learn as they get older."


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 Macy's
Macy's, the largest retail brand of Macy's, Inc., delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers at more than 800 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.  Offering distinctive assortments including exclusive fashion and home brands, Macy's stores are operated by seven regionally based retail divisions – Macy's East, Macy's Florida, Macy's Midwest, Macy's North, Macy's Northwest, Macy's South, and Macy's West – and an online store at macys.com. 

For more information, contact:
Layla Wright-Contreras,
Media Relations Manager

Macy's Donates Multicultural Book Collections to RIF Programs in Dayton