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RIF and Reach Out and Read Partner to Provide Books to 160000 Low-Income Children at Pediatric Clinics

Washington, March 6, 2007—Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF) has expanded its partnership with Reach Out and Read (ROR) to provide free books and literacy resources to an additional 160,000 young children and their parents. Reach Out and Read promotes early literacy by working with pediatric doctors and nurses to give books to low-income children ages 6 months to 5 years at check-ups, and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud from an early age.

Under this new agreement, RIF will support Reach Out and Read programs in six markets: Columbia, S.C.; Indianapolis; Richmond, Va.; Rochester, N.Y.; San Diego; and Washington. The programs are expected to distribute more than 350,000 books to children annually.

"Early childhood literacy programs for lower-income families are important in helping to equip kids with the language skills needed for success in school and life," said Carol H. Rasco, RIF's president and CEO. "RIF is pleased to support Reach Out and Read's successful literacy program in pediatric hospitals, clinics, and doctors' offices."

Studies show that parents who get books and literacy counseling from their doctors and nurses increase the frequency they read to their young children and provide more books in the home. Research conducted on the Reach Out and Read program has also shown that children participating in the program show an improvement in language development. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 3.4 million children under the age of 5 are living in poverty in the country.

"RIF's increased support of Reach Out and Read helps us expand the number of children and families we can serve," said Barry S. Zuckerman, M.D., board chair and CEO of Reach Out and Read. "We are delighted to be expanding our partnership."

With the support of Congress, the U.S. Department of Education and private funders, last year RIF distributed over 16 million books to nearly 4.5 million children across the country. Almost 89 percent of the federal funds were used to purchase books and RIF volunteers leveraged the federal dollars to raise an additional $9.2 million to support book ownership. 


Frank Walter

Nancy Berman
617-629-8042, ext. 225


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!

Reach Out and Read is a national, non-profit program that is working to make literacy promotion a standard part of pediatric primary care. Reach Out and Read trains medical providers to advise parents about the importance of reading aloud and to give books to children at check-ups from 6 months to 5 years, with a special emphasis on children growing up in poverty. Endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Reach Out and Read has one of the strongest records of research support of any primary care intervention. Since l989, Reach Out and Read has trained more than 44,100 doctors and nurses who have given advice and a new book at more than 16 million well-child visits. This year Reach Out and Read will provide 4.3 million books to more than 2.6 million children, at 3,105 hospitals and health centers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands. For further information, please visit Reach Out and Read's website at www.reachoutandread.org

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

RIF and Reach Out and Read Partner to Provide Books to 160000 Low-Income Children at Pediatric Clinics