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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. Children are among those most affected, as they cope with abruptly leaving school and adjusting to online learning.

In response to the pandemic, Reading Is Fundamental shifted to meeting the needs of children and parents faced with the challenge of learning at home. Thanks to the support of committed partners like Macy’s, RIF quickly adapted by creating new resources and opportunities to help educators, children, and families transition to remote learning, by getting books to children who are out of school.

RIF’s approach is grounded in the fundamental principle that independent reading is critical to preparing children to learn and achieve. By providing access to books and reading resources - in both print and digital formats - RIF supports efforts to boost learning at home. This solution does not require parents to become master teachers, nor does it require educators to be experts in remote teaching. Instead, RIF has been able provide immediate, practical resources that teachers, parents and children can use anywhere, at any time.

RIF is especially grateful for the support from Macy’s in creating new and innovative strategies that allow us to get books and reading activities to children while at home.

Digital Resources: Virus & Germ Center

To support at-home learning, RIF created new online content including a dedicated Learn-at-home section with reading activities for children and guides for families and educators to keep children motivated and learning during COVID-19. With Macy’s help, we created a Virus & Germ Center that helps parents and educators communicate with elementary school-aged children about the pandemic and healthy habits. This digital destination curates a variety of activities, research, puzzles, and book recommendations to help facilitate conversations and to allow children to learn and explore.

Daily, Online Read-Alouds

RIF has been hosting live read-alouds on Facebook every Monday through Friday, with over 120,000 views since April.  Since we are currently unable to host book celebrations and other in-school events, we are bringing book celebrations to children online. Our Community Engagement staff has been reading popular books in children’s literature to engage and encourage children while they are at home

Book Distributions

Since school closures began in early March, RIF has received requests from school districts, schools, and community organizations to provide books and literacy resources to their children during this unprecedented time. Thanks to the support of Macy’s, RIF has been able to rapidly respond to high-need sites across the country and has provided more than 15,000 books for children from Pre-K through eighth grade. These books have reached children in whatever method is locally appropriate, whether that is through a meal center or at a book fair in a school parking lot.

We are grateful for the partnerships that make it possible for RIF to have an impact on children that need our help the most. We’d like to extend a special thanks to Macy’s for being such a supportive and strategic partner and who helps us make a difference in the lives of children across the country.