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Reading Is Fundamental Distributes 15,000 New Books to Help D.C. Children Avoid the "Summer Learning Slide"

Part of the Celebration of Reading Is Fundamental Week

Washington, May 8, 2007 — Hoping to limit the "summer learning slide," Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) will distribute 15,000 free, new books to Washington children. These distributions will occur during reading motivation events held at 32 public and charter schools as part of the annual Reading Is Fundamental Week celebration, May 6—12. 

RIF Week encourages children to read for fun during their summer vacation. Children, especially those from low-income families, can lose as much as two months of learning during the summer months, according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Summer Learning.

"Reading is one of the best ways to avoid the summer learning slide," said Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of RIF, during a book distribution event held today at Meyer Elementary School in Washington. "Each child in the District benefits from having a parent or guardian encourage them to read during the summer."

Rasco recommended the following tips that parents and caregivers can follow to keep their children from losing ground this summer:

  • Combine activities with books. Encourage children to read about summer activities.
  • Visit the library. Participate in the D.C. Public Library’s summer reading program.
  • Lead by example. Show your children the fun you have reading!
  • Talk it up. Talk with your children about what you read.
  • Relax the rules for summer. Let summer be a time when children can read what, when, and how they please.
  • Have plenty of reading material on hand, such as storybooks, newspapers, magazines, and informational texts.
  • Use books to break the boredom. Get books that teach children how to make or do something.
  • Read aloud with children. Take your children to a local storyteller or, better yet, be one yourself.

More free tips, book lists and reading activities are available on RIF's Web site at http://www.rif.org

RIF launched its D.C. Initiative project to help school and community efforts improve youth literacy in the city. During this school year, RIF provided more than 45,000 free, new books to 15,000 D.C. public and charter school students during three citywide book distributions. RIF's D.C. Initiative is supported by the Freed Foundation, GMAC-RFC, The Washington Post, and the Kiplinger Foundation.

Distribution events held this week at Bruce-Monroe Elementary School, Burroughs Elementary School, Meyer Elementary, Slowe Elementary School, and Wilson Elementary School were supported by volunteers from City Year. In addition, the D.C. Public Library provided information about its summer reading program, "Reading Road Trip."

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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 4.6 million children with 15 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.

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For more information, contact:
Layla Wright-Contreras,
Media Relations Manager
202-536-3528
 

Reading Is Fundamental Distributes 15,000 New Books to Help D.C. Children Avoid the "Summer Learning Slide"