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Saginaw Youth to Benefit from Launch of New Reading Is Fundamental Program

SAGINAW, Mich., August 27, 2007 — Through a grant from Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF), Cops-N-Kids, Saginaw, Inc. has launched a new RIF program that will provide free books and literacy resources to more than 5,000 children in Saginaw. Children involved in the Cops-N-Kids, Saginaw, Inc. RIF program now have the opportunity to choose two to five free books to add to or create personal libraries. The first book distributions were held in August with others scheduled for this fall.

Cops-N-Kids, Saginaw, Inc. enables and empowers all children to strive toward a successful life. Learning to love reading leads to success in school, and in turn, leads to success in life. Cops-N-Kids, Saginaw, Inc. promotes literacy while fostering a positive relationship between police officers and Saginaw County youth. 

RIF is the nation's oldest and largest nonprofit children's and family literacy organization. Founded more than 40 years ago, its literacy programs embrace three elements to foster a child's love of reading: fun reading activities, family and community involvement, and a child's excitement at choosing free books that are theirs to keep. RIF currently serves children in every state and territory in the U.S., at more than 20,000 sites.

"Have you seen how excited children are to get a book that they can keep?" said Leisa Schirmer, president of Cops-N-Kids. "People think it's just a book, when in reality it's the gateway to a child’s imagination. RIF has allowed us to distribute more books than we dreamed possible."

"RIF programs help get books to children who need them most," said Carol H. Rasco, RIF president and CEO. "Research has shown that children who have access to books and who read for fun perform better on reading tests. RIF looks forward to working with the Cops-N-Kids, Saginaw, Inc. to help the children of Saginaw develop a lifelong love of reading."

With the support of Congress, the U.S. Department of Education, and private funders, last year RIF distributed more than 16 million books to nearly 4.5 million children across the country.  Almost 89 percent of the federal funds were used to purchase books. In addition, RIF volunteers leveraged the federal dollars to raise an additional $9.2 million to support book ownership.  In the state of Michigan, RIF and its volunteers distribute approximately 707,300  new books annually to more than 188,000  children in schools and other facilities. Since our founding, RIF has distributed more than 300 million new, free books to more than 25 million children from birth to age 18.

RIF programs are required to provide a 25 percent match of their book budget. If you are interested in either donating funds or volunteering with the Cops-N-Kids, Saginaw, Inc. RIF program, contact Leisa Schirmer at (989) 776-5500.

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!

Layla Wright-Contreras,
Media Relations Manager
202-536-3528

Saginaw Youth to Benefit from Launch of New Reading Is Fundamental Program