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Reading is Fundamental

Each year, Reading is Fundamental (RIF) helps more than 3.5 million children improve their reading skills and obtain free books. RIF is a unique network of volunteers and public-private partnerships that provide the neediest children with free books and tutoring. Founded in 1966 by Margaret Craig McNamara, a volunteer tutor in Washington D.C. schools, RIF now has programs in 17,000 schools, childcare centers, libraries, hospitals, detention centers and homeless shelters nationwide.

How It Works

Reading is Fundamental develops model children's and family literacy programs that organizations sponsor in their communities. The goal of every RIF program is to spark children's interest in reading. RIF coordinators and volunteers customize programs to meet the needs of the children they serve. For example, a program located within a Head Start pre-school class offers exercises to help prepare children for reading. Another program may co-sponsor reading contests with the local public library. Each April during "Reading is Fun Week," schools and communities around the nation host events that celebrate the pleasures of reading.

Partners in Success

RIF has formed numerous partnerships with corporations, government bodies and other non-profit organizations, adding to its strength.




The organization has a unique partnership with the U.S. Department of Education, in which most donations and grants to RIF receive federal matching funds. RIF has also partnered with most major book suppliers to receive books at the lowest possible prices. In the past, Scholastic teamed with the program to distribute 250,000 new books to children in Washington D.C. public elementary schools. The organization is also supported by several celebrity spokespeople, including Shaquille O'Neal and Howie Mandel.

Reading is Fundamental is the nation's largest children's literacy organization. It frequently works with other organizations committed to literacy, including the American Library Association and the National Institute for Literacy. Another partner is the Sylvan Book Adventure, a free Web-based reading incentive program that enables parents and educators to track a reader's progress and select appropriate materials for every reading level.

Get Involved

If you share RIF's mission, consider becoming a RIF volunteer. The Literacy Volunteers of America offers information on other literacy volunteer programs. RIF also welcomes monetary and book donations.

For more information about RIF or how you can help, call 1-877-RIF-READ or contact your regional RIF office.




 
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