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Redlands Christian Migrant Association Selected as Reading Is Fundamental Program of the Month

Recognition Bittersweet as Florida RIF Programs Deal with Federal Funding Cut

WASHINGTON, August 1, 2011 – Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation’s largest children’s literacy nonprofit, named the Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA), located in Immokalee, Fla. as the national Program of the Month honoree for August.

At 80 locations throughout Florida, the RCMA RIF program provides 5,500 children of migrant farm workers and rural, low-income families with books and motivational literacy activities. Each site promotes the importance of family and community engagement at book distributions by encouraging local librarians, politicians, public school teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters and other community members to participate.

The honor is bittersweet as $24.8 million in federal funding was eliminated for RIF this fiscal year. As a result, RIF’s ability to continue providing free books to the children most at risk of academic failure is in serious jeopardy.

Although this could be the last year of RIF’s Books for Ownership program, Coordinator Penny Norton is optimistic that she and her team will continue to offer literacy services to the community. “RCMA is committed to continuing a literacy program for both children and parents,” said Norton. “Private donors and other non-profit agencies like the Mexican Consulate have made donations in the past and we hope to be able to depend on them in the future.”

“Dedicated, passionate and inspiring are all ways to describe the RCMA RIF program,” said Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of RIF. “Ms. Norton and the entire staff at RCMA bring admirable enthusiasm to the program and we are thankful for their commitment to improving literacy for children, families, and communities.”

RIF launched the Program of the Month initiative to honor the ongoing efforts of local programs fulfilling RIF’s mission, which relies on innovative programs promoting children’s literacy in their communities. Thanks to thousands of volunteers, children all across the country are discovering the joy of reading.

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 provided 4 million children with 15 million new, free books and literacy resources last year. For more information and to access reading resources, visit RIF’s website at www.rif.org.

Discover the Joy!     

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Redlands Christian Migrant Association Selected as Reading Is Fundamental Program of the Month