Santa Ana Youth to Benefit from Launch of New RIF Program
SANTA ANA, CALIF., September 6, 2007 — Through a grant from Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF), Orange County Head Start, Inc. has launched a new RIF program that will provide free books and literacy resources to nearly 2,500 children ages birth to 5 in Santa Ana..
Children involved in the Orange County Head Start RIF program will have the opportunity to choose three new books to add to or create personal libraries. The first book distribution was held in May of this year. Future distributions are scheduled for October and January of next year.
RIF is the nation's oldest and largest nonprofit children's and family literacy organization. Founded more than 40 years ago, RIF's literacy programs embrace three elements that 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.
"We are very excited that we are now able to offer the Orange County Head Start community books that they can use to create personal libraries," stated Marie Ford, RIF program coordinator for the Orange County Head Start. "The RIF books will not only support our on-site literacy efforts, but they will also provide parents with another tool that they can use to promote reading while at home."
"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 Orange County Head Start to help the children of Santa Ana 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 California RIF and its volunteers distribute almost 2 million new books annually to 568,144 children in schools and other facilities. Since its founding, RIF has distributed more than 300 million new, free books to more than 25 million children ages 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 Orange County Head Start RIF program, contact Marie Ford at (714) 241-8920.
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.
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