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RIF Awards April Programs of the Month

Programs in Mobile, Ala., Chicago, Ill., and Wichita, Kan., Recognized for Literacy Efforts

WASHINGTON, April 15, 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 April 2009. These three programs are based out of Woodcock Elementary School (Mobile, Ala.), Chicago Public Schools (Chicago, Ill.), and Rotary Club of Wichita (Wichita, Kan.).

"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."

Woodcock Elementary School serves 275 children between pre-K to grade 5, and has been providing children in need with free books since 2003. The school media specialist and RIF coordinator, Brenda Minter, has a knack for interacting with and engaging her students in creative motivational activities. Last year she hosted a distribution with the theme "Get Wrapped Up in a Good Book!" Students displayed their entries for a writing project about why they liked their favorite books, and they had their pictures taken and placed on a wrapped "mummy body" to add to the theme.

Chicago Public Schools serves 9,307 through RIF's Shared Beginnings program. Sonia Lascelles coordinates the RIF book distributions, which have been an important literacy resource for children in need since 2002. The program helps teen parents feel more comfortable reading to their children, and teaches them about the important role they play in developing their child's literacy skills. Family is central to this RIF program-and so is book-making! The program's past motivational activities include making family photo books, peek-a-boo books, and touch and feel books.

Rotary Club of Wichita's RIF program, coordinated by Carl Martin and Monte Cook, serves 9,793 children between pre-K and grade 5. The Rotary Club of Wichita provides approximately 300 volunteers who visit schools and read to children whenever RIF books are distributed. On numerous occasions, Wichita Public Schools has acknowledged RIF's vital role in the lives of their children. In a show of support from the Rotary Club, the president of the local chapter contacted the editorial board of the area's newspaper and submitted a letter about RIF and the importance of providing federal funding to promote early childhood literacy.

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.

Discover the Joy!


Press Contact:

Layla Wright-Contreras,
Media Relations Manager



RIF Awards April Programs of the Month