Why reading matters

25 million children in the U.S. cannot read proficiently, which prevents them from achieving success in school, participating in all areas of life, and realizing their dreams. Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) has the proven programs and resources to tackle the literacy crisis, but we can't do it without you. Partner with us to connect more children to the joy of reading—and build a foundation for lifelong opportunity.

Girls excited joy on faces Amazon RIF book event
The U.S. literacy crisis

Join RIF to disrupt the literacy crisis

Reading Is Fundamental and our partners work to change the trajectory of the alarming U.S. literacy crisis, which creates barriers between our nation’s children and their opportunities.


children in the U.S. cannot read proficiently.  


of U.S. children living at or below the poverty line have no books at home. 

1 in 3

children entering kindergarten lack the basic skills they need to learn how to read.


of 4th graders read below grade level, setting them up for difficulty in school and beyond. 

Literacy statistics by U.S. state

See how your state compares to the U.S. average.

COVID-19 erased more than 30 years of progress in children’s reading achievement.

Explore the devastating impact of disrupted learning during the pandemic on reading performance through 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) fourth grade reading scores by state.