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Mazda Foundation Continues Focus on Literacy by Funding Reading Is Fundamental Books for Ownership Programs

Children in California and Michigan to Benefit from Free Books

WASHINGTON, June 25, 2008—Since its inception in 1990, the Mazda Foundation has been a champion of literacy supporting Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation’s oldest and largest children and families’ literacy nonprofit organization.

Most recently, the Mazda Foundation has chosen to support specific RIF Books for Ownership (BFO) programs in California and Michigan through a grant of $55,000, bringing their total contributions since 1990 to more than $1 million dollars.  As in all of RIF’s literacy services, the BFO program motivates young children to read by providing them with the opportunity to choose and keep free books, and participate in fun literacy-related activities. The program also includes a family and community involvement component.

“We are proud to support Reading Is Fundamental’s mission of helping children throughout the country discover the joy of reading,” said Jim O’Sullivan, chairman of the Mazda Foundation. “We hope that our continued support of the Books for Ownership program will help children in California and Michigan become lifelong readers.”

The following locations will benefit from the Mazda Foundation’s donation:

Orange County, Calif.

Magnolia School District, Anaheim
Savanna School District, Anaheim
Wilson Elementary School, Costa Mesa
Garden Grove Unified School District, Garden Grove
Tustin Unified School District, Tustin
Wayne County, Mich.

People’s Community Service/Met. Detroit, Detroit
Flat Rock Community Schools, Flat Rock
Woodhaven-Brownstown School District, Flat Rock
“Children of all ages need year-round access to books and increased reading motivation,” said Carol H. Rasco, RIF president and CEO.  “We are grateful to the Mazda Foundation for supporting RIF’s efforts in reaching this goal.”

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.

Discover the Joy!

About the Mazda Foundation (USA) Inc.
Acting on a strong sense of responsibility to give something back to the communities in which it operates, Mazda established a philanthropic foundation. As the corporate foundation of Mazda North American Operations, it has awarded nearly $6 million to worthwhile causes across the United States since its initial grants in 1992. Over the past ten years, the Foundation has dedicated a significant portion of its contributions to programs that serve minority populations.

Layla Wright-Contreras,
Media Relations Manager


Mazda Foundation Continues Focus on Literacy by Funding Reading Is Fundamental Books for Ownership Programs