Blog

Check back often for our latest updates and news!

09/16/21

Family Engagement, Community Collaboration

Today we’re sharing a post from our friends in literacy who used a multifaceted approach to understand the need in their community and delivered a meaningful program to support young readers and engage parents so they were ready for Kindergarten. This back-to-school season, we’re pleased to share about their model and you can learn more about RIF’s own reading engagement campaign that just launched along with return to school: Rally to Read 100! Learn more today at RallytoRead.org.

09/01/21

Rally to Read with RIF

September is here! School is in full swing and we could not be more thrilled to kick off the new school year with a new call to action around reading.  This is a unique year for all of us and RIF thought it was the perfect opportunity to launch a new initiative, Rally to Read 100. Today we’re kicking off a six-month series of reading fun as we unite behind educators and families to engage students in reading and inspire young minds with the magic of books.

 

08/02/21

Macy’s Gives Back

RIF and Macy’s celebrate an 18-year partnership and more than 14 million books and literacy resources distributed to children across the nation. Read more about our impactful partnership and how you can join this year’s Macy’s Gives Campaign in RIF’s newest blog post by Alicia Levi, RIF President & CEO.

06/14/21

The Magic of Self-Confidence

Teachers and parents, this month’s RIF blog is written by comic strip and graphic novel writer (and magician!), Brian Anderson. You may know him from his long-standing comic strip Dog eat Doug. Brian shares his passion for magic and the importance of reading – whether to become a great magician or a strong reader. It is a great read to share with the child(ren) in your life to get them inspired, to open a book and to uncover the magic in reading.

06/07/21

Celebrating a Literacy Lion, Dick Robinson, President & CEO of Scholastic

It is with deep sadness that we mourn the loss of this giant of children’s literacy and strong supporter of RIF, Dick Robinson. Please take a few minutes to read these kind words from RIF President & CEO, Alicia Levi, as she reflects on the legacy Dick Robinson leaves behind.

05/24/21

Read with RIF All Summer Long

Summer is the perfect time for children to relax, read, and get swept away to places near and far. Together, we can combat the summer reading slide and keep our nation’s children reading and thriving. RIF offers a variety of resources and activities to engage young readers all summer long.

05/03/21

That All Our Children May See Themselves Reflected: Racial & Cultural Representation in Picture Books

At Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), we are committed to using the power of books for positive impact and change.  As part of our Race, Equity and Inclusion (REI) initiative, RIF is dedicated to empowering children and putting diverse books into their hands and homes.  As we kick off Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we are excited to bring you this blog post from our friends at Diverse BookFinder. They offer tools and resources to create collections in which all children can see themselves -- and each other -- reflected in the picture books they read. As our nation struggles with ongoing acts of violence and racism, RIF believes it’s important to think about how we represent diversity and inclusion in children’s books and we are pleased to share this blog post from Diverse BookFinder who help educators, parents, and volunteers expand the type of diverse books we share with our children.

04/06/21

Navigating Trauma with Stories

RIF's Marketing and Partnerships Manager, Ashlina Chin, shares how she uses children's books to navigate trauma and battle anti-Asian discrimination.

03/02/21

Dollar General Literacy Foundation & RIF: Celebrating 16 Years of Impact

Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation (DGLF) are proud to partner to ensure that children have access to new, high-quality books and literacy resources. For more than sixteen years, this partnership has helped thousands of children and families create home libraries.

03/01/21

Reflecting on Reading

National Reading Month has arrived! RIF President & CEO Alicia Levi reflects on reading in her latest blog post.

02/01/21

Honoring Black History

Black History Month is a time to celebrate, recognize and learn about the Black pioneers, civic leaders, inventors, athletes, historic figures and of course, writers that have shaped our country. At Reading Is Fundamental, we believe there is no better way to do this than though the power of books.

01/26/21

The Harry Potter Alliance and RIF Make Magic in Washington, D.C.!

Reading Is Fundamental was thrilled to partner with our book-loving friends at the Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) this winter to host a national book drive to benefit one of our local RIF program sites. Through this impactful partnership, we were able to inspire a love of reading for hundreds of children! HPA volunteer, Jessica Rozycki, shares a recap in her blog post.

12/17/20

Race, Equity, Inclusion AND RIF

These past months, our country has been spurred to action as systemic racism has come into sharp focus and the national outcry for change has heightened. This summer, RIF's President and CEO, Alicia Levi, outlined ways in which Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) is leaning into our commitment to equity and addressing systemic racism through our Race, Equity and Inclusion (REI) initiative. We invite you to read an update on RIF’s efforts to move our REI initiative forward.

12/15/20

Overcoming Adversity with Ivy Claire

This blog post is written by Ivy Claire, author of the newly released title, Epoca: The River of Sand. The Epoca series was created by Kobe Bryant and written by Ms. Claire. RIF believes in the power of story to comfort us, to strengthen us and to help us overcome adversity. That’s why every child deserves to own books and experience the opportunity that literacy provides. Ms. Claire shares how story – and sports- help us preserve and overcome adversity. We’re excited to showcase her voice here today and highlight what this book means to her.

11/24/20

Thank You from RIF

Celebrating your contributions to literacy now more than ever.

08/11/20

We're In This Together

No one could have predicted the profound effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on everyday life. Read about RIF and Macy’s innovation response to getting books and reading activities to children while at home.

06/18/20

Thinking Outside the Book

With schools closed due to COVID-19, RIF had to think “outside the book” and generate a plan for getting books in the hands of children around the U.S.

06/12/20

Literacy to Break through Injustice and Inequity

At Reading Is Fundamental, we believe literacy is one of the keys to breaking through the cycle of injustice and inequity that continues to impact Black children and children of color in America.

04/07/20

Reading Is Fundamental: What's in a Name?

Like any proper non-profit organization, Reading Is Fundamental has a mission statement. It’s about our commitment to ensuring literacy for all children and a passion for reading. But our core belief is most succinctly expressed in our name: reading is fundamental.

12/10/19

Alpha Chi Brings Books and Smiles

When I arrived at the library for the Alpha Chi and Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) service project, I was prepared to spend the day reading aloud and distributing books to children. What I was not prepared for was the positive impact this would have on me.

11/20/19

Happy Thanksgiving from RIF's President and CEO.

Thanksgiving is that special time of year that we devote to being grateful for the many gifts we have in our lives (and to turkey, of course!). While other gifts can come and go, one priceless, lifelong gift is reading -- a powerful skill that opens doors to endless opportunities.

11/06/19

The Nation’s Report Card Underscores the Importance of Collective Action

A friend was in the library recently and witnessed the sweetest moment between a child and a library patron. It warmed my heart.

09/09/19

Celebrating National Literacy Month

As a new school year has begun, Reading Is Fundamental works to inspire families, empower educators, and encourage volunteers and literacy advocates about the difference they can make in the lives of children through power of literacy. Literacy is the fundamental building block to a child’s future, no matter what path they choose to follow.

07/10/19

Escambia County Students Celebrated Books!

Recently the first grade students in eleven elementary schools in Escambia County, Florida were the recipients of a wonderful gift – books to keep forever! Every student received three books each, thanks to the generosity of International Paper and the efforts of Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) to turn donations into a way to give books to children.

07/01/19

Back to School with RIF

Every August, beach bags begin to get traded for backpacks and portable fans for folders. Back to school season affects everyone, not just children. Parents begin to adjust to a different morning routine, teachers prepare their classrooms for students, and everyone else adjusts to the school buses that can slow down traffic.

07/01/19

Summer Reading for the FUN of It!

Reading can sometimes feel like a chore to young readers, especially those struggling to develop their skills. When children have difficulty reading, they may go to extreme lengths to avoid even opening a book; but, when they find the perfect story that speaks to their individuality and interests, a whole new world of imagination and wonder opens its doors.

06/25/19

4 Steps to Engage Young Readers

As children, we’ve all been there before - feeling the dread when a parent or educator told us to read a book. They may have assigned it for a school assignment or perhaps decided that they wanted the children in their lives to read more. Whatever the reason, being given a book -- without much of a choice in the title -- can be dreadful. 

Today, you may have young readers in your life who need a bit of encouragement with their reading. They can’t seem to find books they enjoy and, therefore, aren’t reading. Don’t worry! Here are some steps to engage children and introduce them to the joys of reading.

 

06/19/19

Reading Around the Campfire at Groveton

 

Late evening sunlight slanted through the forest trees. A chorus of birds and crickets chirped in the distance. A campfire, ringed by sleeping bags and canvas chairs, flickered in the dark. This was the scene of Reading Is Fundamental’s Books for Ownership event sponsored by RJ and Heidi Narang at Groveton Elementary School in Alexandria, Virginia on June 4th

06/14/19

Soaring into Summer: Books for Ownership at Francis T. Evans Elementary School

Perseverance, determination and dreaming big – the themes of Reeve Lindbergh’s Nobody Owns the Sky – were on display on June 3 at Francis T. Evans Elementary School in Clinton, MD where 200 PreK-5 students were rewarded for a year of reading. National children’s literacy nonprofit Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), in partnership with long-time supporter State Farm Insurance, surprised the students as they near an end to their school year with an event to celebrate their year-long reading challenge, “Our Reading Takes Flight.”

03/27/19

15 Years of Local Literacy Impact for Kids Nationwide

2019 marks 15 years of Reading Is Fundamental’s (RIF) partnership with Kappa Kappa Gamma.  Through our work together, the women of KKG have raised more than $1.2 million in support of Reading Is Fundamental’s mission to give every child the opportunity to own a book and experience the life-changing power of reading. That’s more than 400,000 books for kids! Together, we can help every child aspire to be a reader!

02/05/19

Guest Blog: Salt Lake City School District

Reading Is Fundamental is excited to highlight a guest blog from the Salt Lake City School District, a program site which benefitted from a partnership between RIF and the Panda Cares Foundation. Read on to learn how students at Riley Elementary felt about getting getting new books through the generous support of the Panda Cares Foundation. 

12/20/18

A Holiday Note From RIF’s President and CEO

From stocking libraries in Bronx affordable housing communities and partnering with schools in Houston to support children affected by Hurricane Harvey, to hosting our first National Reading Coalition and being selected as Tina Fey’s charity of choice at Variety Magazine’s Power of Women event, RIF continues to reach children with new books, digital tools and programmatic support. Thanks to you we are making a difference in the lives of children every single day.

11/29/18

Stress-Busting Holiday Literacy Tips for Families

The holidays can be stressful for families but they’re also a great opportunity to spend time for those closest to you. Spending time reading with your children is a great reason to turn off the television, cuddle up, and relax. Try some of these fun literacy activities to bust holiday stress!

11/06/18

10 Tips for Families of Young Children

1. Read aloud to your child every day
●    Read to babies even before they can talk
●    Let your child see and touch the book
●    Play with voices and the sounds of words

11/06/18

Tips for Reading a Storybook Aloud

Reading with a child is an important part of developing reading skills. Reading a book aloud, taking turns reading, acting out a book, and discussing a book are all critical elements to engage a child in the reading process. Reading together starts children on a path to obtain the necessary reading skills to become proficient, interested, and hopefully lifelong readers. Here are some basic tips to consider when reading with one child or many.

11/01/18

Ask The Author: Interview with Maryanne Wolf

We recently caught up with Dr. Maryanne Wolf about her book Reader Come Home, which discusses the challenges of being a reader in the Digital Age. This is the second in a series of interviews with Dr. Wolfe. The first interview was around her book Proust and the Squid.

10/10/18

Guest Blog: ReadBoston

RIF teamed up with longtime philanthropic partner and literacy advocate, Macy’s, to create literacy impact by supporting ten book celebration events in communities across the country, ReadBoston, hosted one of the book celebrations. ReadBoston is a comprehensive early literacy program, reaching children from low-income families to encourage lifelong reading success.

09/06/18

Literacy is a Fundamental Right

September heralds a new school year and with it, the thoughts of many parents turn to their children’s education, and another year of preparing them for their future. Reading and access to books and other educational resources are considered a critical part of any child’s education. In fact, a strong foundation in literacy is so essential to any individual realizing their full potential that it is at the center of a growing national discussion; is literacy a fundamental right?

08/28/18

RIF and Macy's Team Up to Make Literacy Impact

RIF is joining forces with Macy’s for the fifteenth year to provide books, digital literacy tools and educational resources to children nationwide through Thanks for Sharing, Macy’s annual customer loyalty program.

Since the beginning of RIF and Macy’s partnership, more than 12 million children in over 860 communities across the country have been supported through free books, engagement activities and literacy resources, illustrating Macy’s deep dedication to children’s literacy. In the past year alone, 7 million children have been reached by free online literacy resources available on RIF’s digital destination for supplemental materials, Literacy Central, funded by the generosity of Macy’s.

07/02/18

Community Corner: PAWS and THINK!

RIF recently caught up with PAWS and THINK! author Miranda Mittleman about her passion for children’s literacy. Read on to learn how Miranda has paired her lifelong love of poetry with her desire to make an impact on children’s literacy.

06/25/18

Incorporating Reading and Writing in the Middle School Classroom

How can middle schoolers be great readers AND writers? RIF caught up with Katie Padden a middle school English and Language Arts teacher in rural Burgettstown, PA to get the inside scoop. Read on to learn why Katie thinks reading and writing go together like peanut butter and jelly!

06/25/18

Ask the Author: Interview with Lulu Delacre

RIF recently caught up with Lulu Delacre about her work in children’s literature. This interview covers two books. The first is Golden Tales: Myths, Legends, and Folktales from Latin America, for which she was both author and illustrator. The second is a new book by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, entitled Turning Pages, for which Ms. Delacre is the illustrator.

06/04/18

Ask the Author: Jon Lasser

We recently caught up with Jon Lasser about his new book Grow Happy. This is part of a series on Social Emotional Learning from Magination Press.

04/26/18

RIF Tips for Building a Home Library

In celebration of Children’s Book Week RIF is ready to help you create a home library. Follow the RIF-approved tips below to create a dynamic, at-home reading experience.

04/26/18

RIF's Teacher Feature

RIF is excited to team up with Shaunda Wasik, a 3rd and 4th grade  teacher from Farmington, Minnesota. Shaunda reviewed RIF’s reading intervention in program and wants to give YOU the full scoop!

04/23/18

Ask the Author: Interview with Professor Marina Umaschi Bers

We recently caught up with Professor Bers from Tufts University about her new book Coding as a Playground. This is an ideal book for reading educators looking to integrate computer coding into the early literacy classroom.  

04/18/18

A Tribute to the First Lady of Literacy Barbara Bush

Reading Is Fundamental honors the legacy and impact of an outstanding literacy champion, Barbara Bush. Mrs. Bush was a long-standing supporter of Reading Is Fundamental and children’s literacy, from her dedicated service on the RIF board to lending her voice and her passion to the critical issue of literacy. She recognized that reading meant opportunity and that every American deserves the opportunities that literacy provides. 

04/03/18

RIF Impacts 800,000 Students During National Reading Month

Reading Is Fundamental launched a National Reading Month celebration filled with national and local activities to support and highlight the transformative power of reading. RIF began the month with a kick off event in partnership with the National Education Association. The March 1 event celebrated a nation of diverse readers and included a reading extravaganza led by award-winning authors Kwame Alexander, Jesse Holland and Gene Luen Yang, along with local authors. 

04/03/18

Partnering to Rebuild Houston School Library

Reading Is Fundamental partnered with community volunteers, NBA Cares, State Farm and the Chris Paul Family Foundation to create literacy impact, wrapping up RIF’s National Reading Month activities. RIF was honored to rebuild and open the hurricane-damaged library at C.E. King Middle School in Houston, TX as part of an ongoing effort to support communities affected by Hurricane Harvey. The partnership kicked off last year with a community book drive, a donation of Chromebooks for the library and a basketball clinic for students led by Houston Rockets superstars Chris Paul and James Harden.

02/26/18

Five Tips for Encouraging Young Readers

These tips for encouraging young readers reflect Reading is Fundamental’s integrated approach to improving literacy skills. By providing children with content-rich, age appropriate books and motivational activities, it is possible to increase a child’s literacy skills.

02/05/18

RIF's Teacher Feature

Reading Is Fundamental caught up with Georgette Sierra, a teacher at Oakbrooke Elementary School in Sherwood, Arkansas, who has enjoyed implementing RIF’s supplementary literacy program Read for Success in her classroom for the past two years. 

01/02/18

RIF and National PTA: Working Together to Power Family Engagement

Did you know that February 11th marks the start of Take Your Family to School Week? Reading Is Fundamental is pleased to partner with National PTA to support the week’s activities by providing guidance and resources to help local PTAs make a major literacy impact!

12/06/17

Happy Holidays from Reading Is Fundamental!

The holiday season has officially arrived!  We ushered it in with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday.  

11/13/17

From the CEO's Desk

If you are like me, you say the same thing every year when Thanksgiving rolls around – “can you believe it is already Thanksgiving?”  As my husband likes to remind me, it comes at the same time every year!  Once I get my arms around how quickly time passes and how much changes in the course of one short year, I am seized with the excitement and optimism that the holiday season brings.  

10/09/17

RIF on the Road!

09/05/17

Thanks, Macy's!

08/31/17

We've Launched: Literacy Central!

Need awesome, new literacy materials for back to school? We’ve got you covered! Reading Is Fundamental is thrilled to announce the debut of Literacy Central, a free digital destination designed to help parents and educators foster a love of reading and literacy development in children

08/27/17

Reading Is Fundamental Hits it Out of the Park

Reading Is Fundamental and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) teamed up for a second Read & Ride book distribution event and we hit it out of the park!

07/03/17

A STEAM-Y Day at the Museum

On May 20, Reading Is Fundamental and Pitney Bowes hosted an afternoon of fun for families in Bridgeport, CT at the Discovery Museum and Planetarium. Children from pre-k to the 6th grade were invited to this admission-free event focused on promoting reading and science in our daily lives...

06/16/17

Advice from a RIF Dad

“We need more books,” they would say.

“But of course!” I agreed beaming with a feeling of satisfaction and parental pride. “We’ll go to the library tonight and you guys can get as many books as you want.”

05/11/17

Outstanding Teen Is Your New Book Matchmaker

Julieanna Jackson may be Mississippi’s Miss Pride of the South's Outstanding Teen but it is her role as Book Matchmaker that really makes her shine! Growing up, Julieanna, like many other students, was a reluctant reader but after discovering a series that motivated her she not only became an avid reader...

05/08/17

What does Mother’s Day mean to you?

For me, it is all about celebrating the gift of my mother and children. It is about modeling an environment for my children that my mom created for my sister, brothers and I – an environment of love and acceptance. As my siblings and I grew up, ventured out and began families of our own...

04/28/17

Crawl, Walk, Read!

Sure, most kids learn to walk before they can run but Daliyah Arana learned to read before she could toddle! This amazing 4-year-old was honored earlier this year by the Library of Congress for reading over 1,000 books! We recently talked with Daliyah and her mom, Haleema, about the incredible way...

03/27/17

The Power of Storytelling

This guest blog was provided by actor, director, author and lifelong literacy advocate, LeVar Burton to inspire the next generation of readers during National Reading Month! 

03/06/17

Marching into National Reading Month

RIF teamed up with actor, director, author and lifelong literacy advocate, LeVar Burton to inspire the next generation of readers during National Reading Month! There were awards, book distributions, read alouds, rhinos and more!

03/02/17

5 Ways to Keep the Magic in Your Nightly Storytime

This guest blog was provided by Andra Abramson, Studios Editor at Cricket Media.

02/28/17

Amazing Women in History

There’s never a bad time to read about powerful ladies, but now is a particularly perfect moment in time to bust open stories of women who’ve broken down barriers. March is Women's History Month, making it the perfect excuse to celebrate the powerful women in your life!

02/06/17

Tips for Reading Aloud so You Can Unlock a Child's Imagination

February 16th is World Read Aloud Day! We know that reading is a fundamental part of life but reading aloud can be the beginning of a child’s literary journey.

02/06/17

Warm Fuzzy Reads for February

Valentine’s Day is about celebrating all types of love – love of helping someone, love between siblings, or a love of reading! RIF has compiled a new booklist so you and your little one can cozy up together and experience the warm fuzzies all month long!

01/18/17

A look back on 2016

Thanks to you, we celebrated RIF’s 50th anniversary, expanded our partnerships, paired up with celebrities, impacted over 1,400 communities and most importantly helped inspire millions of new RIF kids to become lifelong readers. Here are just a few of our favorite stories!

01/04/17

Resolve to be a Literacy Champion in 2017

When it comes to making New Year’s resolutions, we always have a few focused on our own reading habits. We tell ourselves that this year we are going to start a book club, read that book we skipped in high school, or (finally) get through Anna Karenina...

01/03/17

Thank you for this last year

Last year, I had so many stories to share with my family. Not only nightly bedtime stories with my little one (this may, unfortunately, be the last year before she decides she is too old for that treasured time with me), but also dinner table tales about my day...