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Senator Wicker Secures $1.5 Million for Reading Is Fundamental to Bring Books and Reading Resources to Children in Mississippi

Collaboration will support 70,000 Pre-K through 8th grade Mississippi students 

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[Washington, D.C.] – [March 29, 2024] – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, in a demonstration of his long-standing commitment to children's literacy, has successfully secured $1,500,000 in federal funding to bolster the efforts of Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) in Mississippi. This funding will enable RIF, the nation’s leading children’s literacy nonprofit, to implement a comprehensive, supplemental literacy program across the state, aiming to enrich the lives of children through the power of reading. 

The initiative, slated to begin in the fall of 2025, promises to make a substantial impact on Mississippi's youth, particularly in under-resourced communities. Senator Wicker's unwavering advocacy for children's literacy has paved the way for this endeavor, which seeks to provide invaluable reading resources and support to Mississippi's young learners. 

“Reading Is Fundamental applauds Senator Wicker for his leadership on the issue of children’s literacy and we are honored to be able to amplify our impact across the state of Mississippi,” said Alicia Levi, RIF’s President & CEO. “We know that when we provide children with books, we are inspiring the joy of reading and setting them up for educational success.”  

Through this one-year award, RIF, in partnership with local school districts and youth-serving organizations, will implement a multi-pronged program to support childhood literacy that will reach over 70,000 students from Pre-K through middle grades in under-resourced communities, providing: 

  1. books to build students’ home libraries,  
  1. book collections to enhance school libraries 
  1. access to RIF’s interactive eBook service, Skybrary 
  1. accompanying reading resources to drive engagement 
  1. educator-facing resources and professional development to complement existing classroom practices 
  1. parent engagement materials

RIF has long been committed to supporting children’s literacy by building capacity for educators and empowering families across Mississippi in creating an ongoing culture of literacy.  With a history of local literacy impact and collaboration across the state, RIF’s trusted reading resources and ability to deliver high-quality print and digital books make them an ideal lead for this initiative. 

Local communities across Mississippi can anticipate the positive impact of Reading Is Fundamental’s programs and content as this project kicks off in the new school year.  By providing access to quality reading materials and supporting educational resources, this program aims to empower Mississippi's youth to further their love of reading, so they can become skilled readers and reach their full potential. 

About RIF: 

Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) is committed to creating a nation of lifelong readers by inspiring the joy of reading among all children, putting them on the path to becoming skilled readers. We provide free, high-quality content to engage children, educators, families, and literacy advocates in the solution to the U.S. literacy crisis—so that every child has the fundamentals for success. As the nation’s leading children’s literacy nonprofit, RIF has provided nearly 430 million books and reading resources to nearly 190 million children since 1966, impacting generations of children. Explore our results and learn more about partnering with us at



Jennifer Moone, Reading Is Fundamental, Vice President of Marketing & Partnerships: