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Reading Is Fundamental® Announces 2015 Book Champion Award Recipients

Senator Roger F. Wicker (R-Miss.) and Congressman Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15, D) to be Honored

Washington, D.C. - March 10, 2015– Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) is pleased to announce that Senator Roger F. Wicker (R-Miss.) and Congressman Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15, D) have been awarded the 2015 RIF Book Champion Award. This award recognizes the remarkable contributions of individuals to the field of children’s literacy and the advancement of RIF’s mission. Both Senator Wicker and Congressman Hinojosa have long championed RIF’s legislative priorities on Capitol Hill, advocating for federal investment in children’s literacy programming. RIF will honor Senator Wicker and Congressman Hinojosa at the 2015 RIF Gala the evening of May 19, 2015 at the Four Seasons Hotel. The public is invited to attend and can purchase tickets at www.rif.org/gala.

“We are very excited to extend this year’s RIF Book Champion award to both Senator Wicker and Congressman Hinojosa,” noted Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of RIF. “Their dedication to and passion for ensuring all children have access to books and learning materials is outstanding and we are grateful for their support.”

“Books empower children with knowledge and give them the opportunity to develop valuable skills,” Wicker said. “Reading Is Fundamental is a critically important program for promoting literacy. I am pleased to receive this award and take part in this valuable mission.”

“I first partnered with RIF when I started the South Texas Literacy Coalition,” said Congressman Hinojosa. “I firmly believe in the power of books to unlock a child’s academic potential and am honored to be recognized as a book champion.”

There are 16 million children living in poverty in the United States, many of whom do not have access to quality books. Senator Wicker and Congressman Hinojosa have helped lead the charge for RIF in Washington, D.C. and are dedicated supporters of RIF’s work in local communities. Both lawmakers have visited with students, educators and parents at RIF programs where book distributions and read alouds spark the imaginations of children.

Senator Roger F. Wicker serves as Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. He is a member of the Committee on Armed Services; the Committee on the Budget; the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; the Committee on Environment and Public Works; the Committee on Rules and Administration; and the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe. He serves as Chairman of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower, and the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet.

Congressman Rubén Hinojosa serves on the Education and the Workforce Committee where the Congressman serves as the Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training and also serves as a member of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions. He is also a member of the House Committee on Financial Services, serving on the Subcommittee on Capital Markets, and Government Sponsored Enterprises as well as the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit. He served as the Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) from 2013-2015 and is currently the Co-Chairman of the CHC Education Task Force.

About RIF
Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) delivers free books and literacy support to children and families in underserved communities in the United States. By giving children the opportunity to own a book, RIF inspires them to become lifelong readers and achieve their full potential. As the nation's largest children's literacy nonprofit, RIF has placed 412 million books in the hands of more than 40 million children since it was established in 1966. To learn more and help RIF provide books to kids who need them most, visit www.RIF.org.


Media Contact
Tracey Beeker, Reading is Fundamental
(202) 536-3458


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