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Over 10 Million Minutes Read with Kids Thanks to Challenge

"Fly with US. Read with Kids®" campaign raises $92,052 for Reading Is Fundamental programs

WASHINGTON—July 13, 2009—Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and US Airways are proud to announce the successful conclusion to their three-month Read with Kids Challenge. More than 7,000 parents, educators, and other caring adults logged over 10 million minutes reading with children, far surpassing the initial goal of 5 million minutes.

"US Airways is proud of how this campaign has brought awareness to the importance of reading to young children as a way to prepare them for success in school and life," said US Airways Director of Community Relations, Julie Coleman. "We would also like to thank the many US Airways customers and challenge participants who donated to RIF during the campaign which raised $92,052 for children in RIF programs across the country."

"RIF is delighted to partner with US Airways on the success of the Read with Kids Challenge, where the real winners are the thousands of children who benefited from reading together with their parents and loved ones-discovering the joy of reading together," said RIF President and CEO Carol H. Rasco.

Notable celebrities Al Roker, Jerry Seinfeld, and Billy Crystal joined the Challenge as Honorary Team Captains. So did children's book authors Eric Carle, Sandra Boynton, Mo Willems, Suzy Becker, Peter Reynolds, and Uma Krishnaswami. Radio personality Russ Parr of the Russ Parr Morning Show; Carmelo Anthony, NBA star for the Denver Nuggets; and Baltimore Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis also signed on, as well as education organizations Knee Bouncers, Education.com, and WETA's Reading Rockets.

"RIF would also like to thank the children's book authors, sports figures, and celebrities who came on board as Honorary Team Captains, increasing the attention brought to the 2009 Challenge and its message about the overall importance of reading with children," added Rasco.

The grand prize winner will receive a US Airways Vacations package to the Walt Disney World® Resort: a four-day/three-night family vacation. The first runner-up will receive a $1,500 US Airways gift card, and the second runner-up will receive a $500 US Airways gift card. Winners will be announced in August.

Team Fort McCoy CYSS of Wisconsin was selected by random drawing and will receive a special "do-gooder" prize-the opportunity to select a RIF program as well as a school in their community to each receive a special children's book collection. The RIF programs in the running are: Brooklyn Public Library, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Patrick O'Hearn School (Mass.), Philadelphia Reads, Phoenix Elementary School District #1, RIF Pittsburgh, and the Options Public Charter School (D.C).

Another new feature of the 2009 Challenge included a "Happy Passengers" section where participants identified their favorite children's books. Dr. Seuss books were the most commonly cited as a favorite, followed by books by Honorary Team Captain Mo Willems, and Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree.

To learn more about the Read with Kids Challenge, and other upcoming reading opportunities visit http://www.RIF.org/readwithkids.

 

About US Airways
US Airways was America's number one on-time airline in 2008 among the "Big Six" hub-and-spoke airlines according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) monthly Air Travel Consumer Report. US Airways, along with US Airways Shuttle and US Airways Express, operates more than 3,200 flights per day and serves 200 communities in the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. The airline employs nearly 34,000 aviation professionals worldwide and is a member of the Star Alliance network, which offers our customers more than 16,500 daily flights to 912 destinations in 159 countries worldwide. And for the tenth consecutive year, the airline received a Diamond Award for maintenance training excellence from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its Charlotte, North Carolina hub line maintenance facility. For more company information, visit usairways.com. (LCCG)

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 RIF's website at www.rif.org.

Discover the Joy!

Layla Wright-Contreras RIF
202-536-3528

US Airways Media Relations
480-693-5729

Over 10 Million Minutes Read with Kids Thanks to Challenge