Reading Is Fundamental Awards May Programs of the Month
Programs in Pawtucket, R.I., Youngstown, Ohio, and Ada, Okla., Recognized for Literacy Efforts
WASHINGTON, May 13, 2009—Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation's oldest and largest children and families' literacy nonprofit organization, has named its three Programs of the Month award recipients for May 2009. These three programs are based out of Samuel Slater Junior High (Pawtucket, R.I.), Mahoning County Education Service (Youngstown, Ohio), and Chickasaw Nation Head Start (Ada, Okla.).
"These three RIF programs have done outstanding jobs at motivating children to read," said Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of RIF. "Studies show that children who read for pleasure do better in school. RIF is proud to recognize the work of these RIF programs for their achievement in helping children discover the joy and value of reading."
Samuel Slater Junior High serves 270 children in grade 7. This RIF program has been providing children in need with free books for almost 30 years. Librarian Joan Garvey is the volunteer coordinator of the RIF book distributions. Garvey is the very embodiment of New England thrift-she spends money wisely and maximizes her spending power consistently. Gavey engages the 7th grade students by having them make bookmarks, inviting them to read to 1st graders, arranging for their pictures to be taken for the local paper, and by encouraging shared reading with other students.
Mahoning County Education Service provides free books to 650 children between the ages of 3 and 5. This RIF program has been motivating children to read since 2000. Debra Filimon-Demyen coordinates the RIF book distributions. Volunteers at each program site dream up creative motivational activities. For one activity, volunteers made a bear cave with cushions and books about bears inside. Guest readers joined the children in the cave and read stories to them. Other sites have invited special guest readers from outside the classroom including an anchorwoman from a local TV station, local senior citizens, and "upper classmen" (2nd and 3rd graders!) to join them.
Chickasaw Nation Head Start has been providing children in need with free books since 2001. They currently serve 256 children between the ages of 3 and 5. The volunteer coordinator for this RIF program is Regina Anderson who is also the Parent Involvement/Social Service Manager. Anderson is dedicated to ensuring that her children participate in RIF. Her program makes use of all resources from RIF, which has only made the program stronger. Teachers in the school even connect to RIF.org via their "smart boards" so children can actively participate in online literacy motivational activities. Because of the great impact the RIF program has made in their school, parental involvement has soared.
RIF's Programs of the Month initiative was launched to honor the ongoing efforts of local programs to fulfill the mission of RIF, which depends on programs like these 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.