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Voices for Literacy Collaborative Launches Virtual Book Drive

Literacy advocates can help provide books to children in need by voting for their favorite children’s book

Washington, D.C. - June 19, 2017 – With schools across the country out for the summer, many children have limited access to books, making it difficult for them to build or maintain their literacy skills. The Voices for Literacy collaborative has launched a new virtual book drive that will provide new books to children in need.

Beginning today and continuing through July 7, 2017, people across the country can visit www.voicesforliteracy.org to vote for their favorite children’s book. For every vote cast, Reading Is Fundamental will donate a new book to a child in need. The concept is simple: one vote, one book. Lots of votes, lots of books for children who urgently need them.

“Our founder, Barbara Bush, has always believed that the home is the child’s first school and the parent is the child’s first teacher,” said Liza McFadden, President and CEO of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. “This is especially true during the summer when children don’t have access to school resources. Casting a vote for your favorite children’s book is a quick, easy way to help make an enormous difference in the life of a child.”

“We have a literacy crisis in this country, with nearly two out of three fourth graders reading below grade level,” said Reading Is Fundamental President and CEO Alicia Levi. “We applaud the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy for its work and are committed to creating collaborative relationships with advocates who share our goal of ensuring all children have access to the fundamental building blocks they need to succeed.”

Literacy skill development is a key indicator of a child’s future academic performance. Tragically, one out of every six children who aren’t reading proficiently by third grade will fail to earn a high school diploma on time; in fact, nearly nine out of ten students who drop out of high school were struggling readers in third grade. Research shows that having just 20 books in the home can significantly improve a child’s chances of success in school.

Voices for Literacy, which launched in February 2017, brings together five partner organizations: the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, the Coalition on Adult Basic Education, Digital Promise, Pi Beta Phi, and Reading Is Fundamental. The goal of the collaborative is to maximize the expertise and resources of the partner organizations to amplify the national conversation on literacy.

The group is committed to taking meaningful action to support and improve literacy rates in the United States, ensuring that everyone has an opportunity for education, no matter their age. “One Vote, One Book” is the third in a series of three digital social campaigns designed to engage literacy advocates in every corner of the nation.

About the Voices for Literacy Partners:

The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy is a public charity and the nation’s leading advocate for family literacy, working to foster the opportunity for every man, woman and child to secure a better life through literacy. Learn more at www.BarbaraBush.org.

The Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) is a nationwide organization comprised of educators, administrators, mentors and guides working to improve educational outcomes for adults and build opportunities. Learn more at www.coabe.org.

Digital Promise is a nonprofit organization committed to accelerating innovation in education to improve opportunities to learn. Learn more at www.digitalpromise.org.

Pi Beta Phi’s commitment to literacy dates back more than 100 years to the founding of a Settlement School in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and its tradition of supporting children and families through literacy service continues today through its Read > Lead > Achieve® reading initiatives. Learn more at http://www.pibetaphi.org/readleadachieve.

Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) is committed to a literate America by inspiring a passion for reading among all children, providing quality content to create impact, and engaging communities in the solution to give every child the fundamentals for success. As the nation’s largest nonprofit organization for children’s literacy, RIF has provided more than 412 million books to 40 million RIF kids, inspiring generations to read, learn and grow.

Learn more at www.rif.org.

Contact: Lauren Sproull