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Reading Is Fundamental and the Pitney Bowes Foundation Partner to Develop Communications-Themed Volunteer Activity Guides

WASHINGTON, March 31, 2011 – In recognition of National Volunteer Month, Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and the Pitney Bowes Foundation today announced the creation of Share the Message: READ! Volunteer Activity Guides based on the theme of communications. 

The three guides -- Animal Communications, Languages of the World, and Communicating Through the Arts – each feature a children’s book and related arts and crafts activities that are appropriate for students in grades K-6.  RIF has also developed a selection of age-appropriate books that relate to each of the themes.

"RIF values the continued support of the Pitney Bowes Foundation, and these new, hands-on volunteer activity guides will support volunteers as they work to help more children and communities discover the joy of reading,” said Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of RIF.  

Kathleen Ryan Mufson, president of the Pitney Bowes Foundation, states “the great part about Share the Message: READ!  is that it provides all of the information needed to create an engaging literacy activity linked to communications.  Parents, teachers, and community volunteers can use these resources to create meaningful activities that develop literacy skills.  Pitney Bowes is excited to be using this program as the basis of its new 2011 Global Month of Service in April.”

Pitney Bowes and the Pitney Bowes Foundation have been proud supporters of Reading Is Fundamental since 2004. In 2009, the Pitney Bowes Foundation built on Pitney Bowes’ extensive history of RIF support by funding the creation of the Share the Message: READ! communication resource guide and accompanying book collections, which provided sets of high-quality books for 50 RIF sites in Indianapolis and New York City.  Pitney Bowes then sponsored a series of related family literacy nights in Corona, Calif., Atlanta, Ga., Washington, D.C., and Dallas, Texas. More than 100 Pitney Bowes employees volunteered at these events, celebrating reading with more than 2,200 attendees.  Because the events were so highly rated by students, parents, teachers, school administrators and volunteers, the Pitney Bowes Foundation decided to fund the new communications-themed volunteer activity guides and related toolkits to enable employee volunteers in any company location to lead similar projects in their communities. 

About 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.

About the Pitney Bowes Foundation:
The Pitney Bowes Foundation is a private entity with a mission to support education, literacy and the diverse community interests of Pitney Bowes employees. We commit our resources to closing the achievement gap and preparing the workforce of tomorrow. For information about these programs and other Pitney Bowes Corporate Citizenship and Philanthropy initiatives, please visit pb.com/community.  More information on Pitney Bowes can be found at pb.com.  

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Reading Is Fundamental and the Pitney Bowes Foundation Partner to Develop Communications-Themed Volunteer Activity Guides