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Fantasia Barrino Joins With Reading Is Fundamental to Encourage All Americans to Read for Change

WASHINGTON, August 19, 2009—Broadway star Fantasia Barrino has teamed up with Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation's oldest and largest children and families' literacy nonprofit organization, to promote Read for Change, a campaign to raise awareness about the importance of children's literacy. The campaign challenges all adults to read with young children at home and in their communities. This effort is part of United We Serve, a national initiative launched by President Obama to engage more Americans in volunteer service this summer.

Literacy efforts, such as the Read for Change campaign, help draw attention to the benefits of reading to young children. Several studies show that reading with children on a regular basis helps instill a love for books and significantly expands their knowledge and vocabulary—all critical factors for academic success.

"As a mother, I know the important role books play in helping my daughter learn how to read, but there are millions of children in the U.S. who don't have access to books. We all need to do our part to share the love of reading with all children," says Barrino, mother of 8-year old Zion Quari Barrino.

In partnership with the Verizon Foundation and Thinkfinity.org, US Airways, Communities in Schools of New Orleans, and the Parent Teacher Association, among others, the Read for Change campaign challenges Americans to collectively log 3 million minutes of reading with children by September 11, 2009. Participants can log their time at www.RIF.org/readforchange. At the end of the campaign, five participants will be selected by random drawing to receive a children's book collection, as well as the opportunity to select a school in their community to receive a book collection.

"By helping support Reading Is Fundamental and the Read for Change campaign, you can provide reading resources to children in your area who are most in need and help them to achieve in school and in life," adds Barrino.

Participants of Read for Change can log their minutes reading with a child at www.RIF.org/readforchange. To learn more about this and other local volunteer opportunities in your community, visit www.Serve.gov.

About RIF
Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF), founded in 1966, motivates children to read by working with them, their parents, and community members to make reading a fun and beneficial part of everyday life. RIF's highest priority is reaching underserved children from birth to age 8. Through community volunteers in every state and U.S. territory, RIF provides 4.5 million children with 16 million new, free books and literacy resources each year. For more information, and to access reading resources, visit RIFÕs website at www.RIF.org.

Press Contact:
Alison Beckwith, RIF

Fantasia Barrino Joins With Reading Is Fundamental to Encourage All Americans to Read for Change