Minnesota Correctional Facility (MCF)-Stillwater Named Reading Is Fundamental Program of the Month
Literacy Program Uses Books to Bridge the Gap between Children and Incarcerated Parents
WASHINGTON, July 1, 2010—Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation's oldest and largest children and families' literacy nonprofit organization, selected MCF-Stillwater as the Program of the Month for July.
Located in Stillwater, Minn., RIF Coordinator Shirley Ingebritsen developed an innovative way to promote literacy among the children of parents incarcerated at the Stillwater facility. With the support of the Minnesota Department of Corrections, Ingebritsen's system allows parents to examine children's books at RIF distributions and send their children the books that match their interests. As a result, communication between parents and their children has improved, and they have developed a greater appreciation for the importance of literacy.
"The work Ms. Ingebritsen is doing with the Stillwater inmates and each of their families is truly remarkable," said Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of RIF. "RIF's presence allows parents within the system to engage actively and constructively in the lives of their children, helping them discover the joys of reading."
The MCF-Stillwater RIF site allows roughly 120 parents to select books for 400 children. The parents have the opportunity to record themselves reading the selected books to ensure they share positive literacy experiences with their children.
RIF's Program of the Month initiative was launched to honor the ongoing efforts of local programs to fulfill the mission of RIF, which depends on innovative programs to promote children's literacy. Thanks to thousands of volunteers, children all across the country are discovering the joy of reading.
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.