RIF in the News

Check out RIF’s signature campaigns, events, and activities making news.

Washington, D.C. – This past weekend, as families nationwide celebrated the impact that mothers have on their children’s lives, the Voices for Literacy collaborative launched a new online quiz highlighting the influence of maternal education levels on children’s future academic success.

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Johnson receives the 2017 Literacy Champion Award by Reading is Fundamental

Washington, D.C. - March 02, 2017 - The National Education Association (NEA) kicked off the 20th anniversary of “NEA’s Read Across America Day” with a reading event in Washington, DC today. Joining NEA were several of the nation’s leading literacy organizations including Reading is Fundamental (RIF) and First Book along with actor, author and literacy advocate LeVar Burton and 12-year-old Marley Dias, an advocate for diversity in literature who founded #1000BlackGirlBooks. The event celebrated Dr. Seuss’ 113th birthday, and kicked off the Association’s national Read Across America campaign, during which an estimated 45 million educators, parents and students will participate in events nationwide.

Washington, D.C. – February 28, 2017 – Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and actor, director, author and lifelong literacy advocate, LeVar Burton are teaming up to inspire the next generation of readers during National Reading Month. RIF will present the 2017 RIF Literacy Champion Award to LeVar at the Championing Children’s Literacy event on February 28th in honor of his incredible work to engage all children in the power of literacy. RIF’s Literacy Champion Award recognizes the remarkable contributions of individuals in the field of children’s literacy and the advancement of RIF’s mission.

Washington, DC and Seattle, WA - February 16, 2017 - Amazon and Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation’s largest literacy organization, have joined forces to empower Amazon customers to help ignite a passion for reading among children across the U.S. who may have limited or no access to books in their homes. From now through March 4, customers can send a book from a Wish List of 50 RIF-designated book titles on Amazon.com that the non-profit will supply to children in need across the country.

Washington, D.C. – The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy is proud to announce the creation of Voices for Literacy. This newly formed collaborative brings together a coalition of five organizations that are committed to expanding opportunities for children and adults to improve their lives through literacy.

Washington, DC - Feb. 9, 2017 – A powerful Business Roundtable literacy report that addresses the increasingly acute “skills gap” U.S. companies are facing and offers a cohesive policy agenda to improve early reading proficiency marks a critical call to action for the business community and policymakers alike, according to Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the country’s leading literacy champion for children’s literacy.

Washington, D.C. – December 12, 2016 – Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation’s largest children’s literacy organization, has been selected as Macmillan Children's Publishing Group’s charity of choice for the 50th anniversary celebration of Bill Martin Jr and Eric Carle’s classic Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? To join in the celebration, RIF and Macmillan invite book lovers to post a picture of themselves reading Brown Bear on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #BrownBearEverywhere. For each post during the week of December 10 – December 17, Macmillan will donate $1, up to $2,500, to RIF to help get books to kids who need them most.  In honor of RIF and Brown Bear’s shared 50th Anniversary, Macmillan will also donate 5,050 copies of Brown Bear and 10,000 additional children’s book titles to RIF for distribution in local communities throughout 2017.

Los Angeles, CA - Nov. 3, 2016 - /PRNewswire/ - LeVar Burton's RRKidz, Inc., the home of Reading Rainbow®, announced today it will donate Skybrary® Family subscriptions to Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), which provides free books and literacy resources to economically disadvantaged communities in the United States. For every Skybrary Family subscription that is purchased between now and the end of the year, a subscription will be donated.

Washington, D.C. – September 15, 2016 – Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation’s largest children’s literacy organization, celebrated its 50th anniversary of inspiring children to read, learn and grow by hosting a virtual birthday party at Amidon-Bowen Elementary School in Washington, D.C. Award-winning singer and actress, Jordin Sparks; passionate advocate, actor and musician, Tray Chaney; and notable children’s author, Tara Lazar joined D.C. Council Members, parents, and DC Public School officials to commemorate the milestone. The event featured live performances, a Happy Birthday sing along, a children’s story read aloud and birthday cake for fourth grade students. In addition, all of the students at the school received birthday-inspired activities and free books, including Dr. Seuss’ Happy Birthday to You! and Tara Lazar’s Normal Norman. The anniversary celebration was sponsored by State Farm®, who made a $10,000 donation for books for the school library.

August 25 - While the national high school graduation rate is at an all-time high, hitting more than 82 percent last year, the graduate rates for students of color, students with special needs, English Language Learners, and low-income students are still lower than those of the overall student population, according to the latest Building a Grad Nation Report. A recent study commissioned by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, reported that mentoring has significant positive effects on two early warning indicators that a student may be falling off-track: absenteeism and behavior problems, suggesting that mentoring, along with other research-based interventions and reforms, is an effective tool in increasing graduation rates, especially among at-risk youth.

Washington, D.C. – August 18, 2016 – Reading Is Fundamental, the nation’s largest children’s literacy organization, is pleased to announce the appointment of Alicia Levi as RIF’s new President and CEO. She succeeds Carol H. Rasco who is retiring after 15 years of leadership and service. Ms. Levi, an education industry veteran, joins RIF at a pivotal time of growth and innovation with such programs as Read for Success.

Washington, D.C. – June 13, 2016 – Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation’s largest children’s literacy organization, unveiled a new Public Service Announcement (PSA) designed to encourage parents and adults to read aloud to children, an important part of early child development. Intended to inspire kids and adults alike, the new PSA, titled READ, is a whimsical approach to literacy showing how your voice can spark a child’s imagination in the most unexpected ways. And, we know that when children are inspired to read and they have books in the home, especially books they select themselves, learning has no boundaries.

As kids spend time outside the classroom this summer, PBS KIDS will release all-new content and resources to help keep them active and encourage exploration at home and outdoors with their favorite characters. As part of its annual summer learning initiative, PBS KIDS will air all-new specials and episodes from ODD SQUAD, NATURE CAT and READY JET GO! beginning in June, and will offer free digital resources at pbsparents.org/summer to make learning fun all summer long.

Washington, D.C. – May 18, 2016 – Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation’s largest children’s literacy organization, launched its summer reading campaign aimed at inspiring children and families to read and have fun together between school years. Research shows that all children are at risk of losing some of the learning they obtained during the school year over the summer. For students from economically-disadvantaged communities, as many as 80 percent are at risk of academically falling behind. RIF’s family-friendly booklists and activities are fun and engaging ways to maintain reading ability throughout the summer. In addition, RIF continues its 50th anniversary activities through its partnership with ustyme to give away a billion free e-books to anyone with access to a computer, tablet or mobile phone. Whether families are planning a staycation at home or a vacation on the go, reading and sharing stories together is easier than ever.

Mineola, NY - May 2016 - In honor of their 75th anniversary, Dover Publications is pleased to announce that they will make a donation of a percentage of all sales generated on doverpublications.com on the date of their anniversary, May 18, 2016, to the children’s charitable organization Reading Is Fundamental.

Washington, D.C. – May 6, 2016 – Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation’s largest children’s literacy organization, celebrated its 50th anniversary by hosting a birthday bash gala at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D.C. The gala was presented by long-time partner, Scholastic, IncAngie Goff, anchor and reporter for NBC4, served as Master of Ceremonies. Throughout the evening, tributes were given to those who have dedicated their time and unwavering support to RIF, including RIF’s 50th anniversary co-hosts, Margaret McNamara Pastor, daughter of RIF founder, Margaret McNamara; Lynda Johnson Robb, original RIF Board member and literacy advocate; and Carol B. Sisco, former RIF Board member and champion for children. In addition, RIF bestowed the 2016 Book Champion Award to U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) for his leadership on behalf of RIF and legislative priorities on Capitol Hill. RIF also recognized multiple organizations, corporations and foundations which do remarkable work to empower young minds and advance childhood literacy.

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.