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Reading Is Fundamental Awards November Programs of the Month

Programs in Buffalo, NY, Cumberland, Tenn, and Fort Hall, Idaho, Recognized for Literacy Efforts

WASHINGTON, December 1, 2009—Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation's oldest and largest children and families' literacy nonprofit organization, has named its three Programs of the Month award recipients for November 2009 to recognize outstanding literacy programs across the country. These three programs are Community Action Organization (Buffalo, NY), Mid-Cumberland Head Start (Cumberland, Tenn.), and Shoshone-Bannock Early Childhood Program (Fort Hall, Idaho).

"Each of these RIF programs has done a wonderful job of celebrating the many joys of reading with students and their communities," said Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of RIF. "The support and empowerment provided for these young readers to be more successful represents RIF's underlying mission. We are happy to honor these programs for their hard work and dedication on behalf of the children throughout their region."

Community Action Organization- Buffalo, NY
Community Action Organization of Erie County has brought the joy of reading and book ownership into the lives of students throughout the Buffalo area. The CAO currently serves over 1900 children, who may not otherwise have access to brand new books, as Buffalo has the sixth highest child poverty rate in the nation. RIF coordinator Dawn Thompson and her staff develop motivational activities for each classroom based on the children's interests as well as the topics they are studying in their classes. Thompson's creativity and commitment to RIF are displayed in the RIF Resources and Ideas guidebook that she wrote to assist staff at their various sites.

Mid-Cumberland Head Start- Cumberland, Tenn
In less than ten years, Head Start in Cumberland, Tenn. has successfully engaged 319 parents and 421 volunteers to participate in their RIF program. RIF coordinator Sone-Serae Batten and her staff serve 1,174 diverse preschoolers across 17 different sites in middle Tennessee. This past year, the program demonstrated their commitment to children's literacy by excelling in many aspects of the Family of Readers program, which is a program where parents learn about the importance of creating a literacy-rich environment for their children.

Shoshone-Bannock Early Childhood Program- Fort Hall, Idaho
Shoshone-Bannock Early Childhood Program has conveyed the importance and joy of reading and book ownership into the lives of young readers for the last 13 years. RIF coordinator Marvel Eagle and her team work with local libraries, bus stations, volunteers and parents to ensure an increase in attendance and participation in book distributions. While there is no local library on the reservation, RIF volunteers meet to read to the children, share Native stories and write names in the children's new books.

RIF's Program of the Month initiative was launched to honor the ongoing efforts of local programs to fulfill the mission of RIF, which depends on programs like these to promote children's literacy. 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 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!

Press Contact:
Mitchell Schmale
(410) 336-8571

Press Contact:
Alishia Frey
(202) 536-3463

Reading Is Fundamental Awards November Programs of the Month