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Reading Is Fundamental Awards October Programs of the Month

Programs in Chicago, IL, Phoenix, AZ, and Jacksonville, FL, Recognized for Literacy Efforts

WASHINGTON, October 30, 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 October 2009 to recognize outstanding literacy programs across the country. These three programs are operated by RIF in Chicago (Chicago, IL), Southwest Human Development (Phoenix, AZ), and John E. Ford Elementary School (Jacksonville, FL).

"These three RIF programs have done a phenomenal job of inspiring young children to enjoy reading," said Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of RIF. "Research has shown that those who engage in reading at a young age will be more successful in school and life. RIF is proud to honor these programs for the work they have done on behalf of the children throughout their region."

RIF in Chicago - Chicago, IL.
RIF in Chicago has been serving the Chicago metro area for more than 30 years. Thanks to their efforts, many Chicago residents are familiar with Reading Is Fundamental. Evan Georgi, the RIF Coordinator, is a very dedicated and an energetic proponent of RIF. She makes a tremendous impact on many children's lives through initiatives like Project Open Book which provides books to children in waiting rooms at a local hospital, The Englewood Project where expanded school programming and parent education is carried out, and Adolescents-at-Risk, which targets high school students as well as the Follett Essay and Poster Contest for all RIF kids in Chicago.

Southwest Human Development, Phoenix, AZ.
Southwest Human Development in Phoenix, Arizona currently serves approximately 80,000 children, about 90 percent of whom are between 0 to 5 years old. Their staff has rigorously worked to uphold RIF's mission for nine years through events allowing parents, children, and staff to come together to celebrate books and make reading fun. In addition, the parents are empowered through gaining knowledge of new strategies that help their children develop early literacy skills. The parents and their children are given the opportunity to practice the new learned strategies and enjoy the books together.

John E Ford Elementary School, Jacksonville FL
Over the period of the three free book distributions per year, this program has more than 400 volunteers total on hand to help with the distributions. The volunteers range from high school students to committed parents and caregivers to community leaders. For the last 18 years this program has brought the joy of reading and book ownership into the lives of their students and a sense of real "community" to all.

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.

About RIF
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.

Discover the Joy!

Press Contact:
Mitchell Schmale
(410) 336-8571

Press Contact:
Alishia Frey
(202) 536-3463

Reading Is Fundamental Awards October Programs of the Month