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04/26/2016

Reading Is Fundamental Implements Summer Reading Grant Initiative

Matching Grant Program to Benefit Students from Twelve Communities Across the Nation

Image of a girl holding books

Washington, D.C. - April 26, 2016 - Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation’s largest children’s literacy organization, announced the recipients of a Read for Success grant to promote summer reading, and help improve reading proficiency for early grade school students. The literacy program, which launches this week, will support more than 2,000 students in 12 communities from 14 schools and organizations nationwide. Eleven of the program sites are partners with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (GLR), a collaborative effort of funders, nonprofit partners, business leaders, government agencies, states and communities to ensure that many more children from low-income families succeed in school. With 65 percent of fourth-grade students reading at or below the basic level needed to succeed academically, the need for programs like Read for Success to combat the summer learning slide is as great as ever to ensure students remain proficient in reading throughout the year.

“So many of our nation’s students are falling behind academically over the summer months,” noted Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of Reading Is Fundamental. “Read for Success is a research-based program shown to minimize the summer learning slide and keep students on track over the summer. We are thrilled to make this literacy grant program available to these schools and organizations to create the opportunity for an immediate impact for children this summer.”

Recipients of the Reading Is Fundamental Read for Success Grant Program include:

  • AR Kids Read/Boys and Girls Club Partnership, Little Rock, AR
  • AR Kids Read/PCSSD/JNPSD Partnership, Little Rock, AR
  • AR Kids Read/PCSSD, Little Rock, AR
  • Bettendorf Community School District, Bettendorf, IA
  • Centennial Elementary, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Coalition for New Britain’s Youth, New Britain, CT
  • Eisenhower School, Flint, MI
  • Excellent Schools Detroit, Detroit, MI
  • Regional Employment Board of Hamden County, Inc., Springfield, MA
  • Somerset County PS, Westover, MD
  • United Way of Central Indiana, Indianapolis, IN
  • United Way of Oxford-Lafayette County, Oxford, MS
  • United Way of Story County, Ames, IA
  • United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, Tucson, AZ

"We are delighted to connect GLR communities with this opportunity,” said Ron Fairchild, Director of the GLR National Support Network Center and CEO of Smarter Learning Group. “The best practices that emerge from the Read for Success program will help accelerate the progress communities are making toward combatting the summer slide."

During the summer months, all children are at risk of losing some of the learning and skills they’ve acquired over the school year. If the summer learning slide is not addressed at an early age, some children may fall behind by as much as three years in reading comprehension by the end of fifth grade. Through researchRead for Success is shown to improve reading proficiency and combat the summer learning slide.

Books are a core component of Read for Success. The program intervention utilizes the following elements to help students improve reading proficiency:

  • A collection of 35 STEAM-themed (science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics) fiction and nonfiction books for the classroom and media center.
  • Online access to standards-based enrichment and scaffolding activities for teachers to integrate into their curriculum.
  • Eight summer books for students to choose and a RIF book bag in which to take them home.
  • Online professional development for teachers to effectively implement the program model.

To learn more about Read for Success, visit RIF at www.rif.org/readforsuccess.

About the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

Launched in May 2010, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a collaborative effort of funders, nonprofit partners, business leaders, government agencies, states and communities across the nation to ensure that more children from low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship. By 2020, the GLR Campaign aims to increase by at least 100 percent the number of children from low-income families reading proficiently by the end of third grade in 12 states or more. The GLR Campaign includes more than 240 communities, representing 42 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands with 2,100 local organizations (including 130 United Ways and 250+ state and local funders). To learn more, visit gradelevelreading.net and follow us on Twitter @readingby3rd.

About Reading Is Fundamental

Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) transforms lives through the power of books. By providing children in need with access to books of their choosing, RIF empowers young minds to embrace the world of reading and develop a love of learning. As the nation’s largest children’s literacy organization, RIF has provided more than 412 million books to 40 million RIF kids over 50 years, inspiring generations to read, learn and grow. Visit us online at www.rif.org and on Twitter, @RIFWEB, to learn more.