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Reading Is Fundamental Honors 25 Programs For Encouraging A Culture of Literacy

Washington, May 24 2007 — Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) today announced the recipients of the second annual RIF Program Excellence Honors 2007, sponsored by MetLife Foundation. The 25 honored programs and their volunteers will be recognized by RIF during a celebration in Washington, D.C., June 18–20, 2007, for successfully encouraging a culture of literacy in their local communities.

These 25 programs were selected from a pool of approximately 4,100 RIF programs. Selection criteria focused on each program's success in running a high-quality children's literacy program that effectively integrated reading into core activities, sustained literacy efforts throughout the program year, and engaged the broader community as reading motivators. Other selection criteria included: the percentage of children served who are at-risk for academic failure (based on free and reduced-price meal eligibility), program model, and program setting and location.

"These programs exemplify quality literacy programming," stated Carol H. Rasco, RIF president and CEO. "By effectively helping our nation's most vulnerable youth discover the joy of reading, these programs are literally changing the lives of the children they serve. RIF is very proud of the work that they have done and we look forward to working with them for many years to come. We are also grateful to our longtime partner, MetLife Foundation, for its sponsorship of the Program Excellence Honors."

During a three-day celebration in Washington, D.C., honorees will participate in workshops and information sessions. They will also have an opportunity to visit with their congressional representatives on Capitol Hill.

RIF Program Excellence Honors 2007:

Heartland Head Start - York County Community Action WIC  Bloomington, Ill.
Clarksville/Montgomery County Comm. Action - Clarksville, Tenn.
Richland County School District 1 - Columbia, S.C.
Monroe Elementary School -Davenport, Iowa
Community Action Program - Dickinson, N.D.
Patrick O'Hearn Elementary School - Dorchester, Mass.
Mt. Vernon Elementary - Flemington, W.Va.
Title I Literacy Program Poudre School District - Ft. Collins, Colo.
Arctic Light Elementary - Ft. Wainwright, Alaska
Guernsey Sunrise Elementary School - Guernsey, Wy.
Haw River Elementary - Haw River, N.C.
Friends of Children of Mississippi, Inc. -Jackson , Miss.
Pinecrest Elementary - Immokalee, Fla.
Telamon Corp. Michigan Migrant Head Start - Lansing, Mich.
Reading Is Fundamental of Southern California - Los Angeles, Calif.
Jefferson Co. Public Schools Teenage Parent Program - Louisville, Ky.
Tom Williams Elementary - North Las Vegas, Nev.
Consolidated School District of New Britain - New Britain, Conn.
Ocean City Berlin Optimist Club RIF Program - Ocean City, Md.
Oneonta Migrant Education Program - Oneonta, N.Y.
Jean Dean RIF/Kiwanis -Opelika, Ala.
Southwest Human Development - Phoenix, Ariz.
Reading School District - Reading, Pa.
Lamar Consolidated ISD – Rosenburg, Texas
Project Learn - Sanford, Maine

For more information about the individual programs honored, visit RIF's website at www.rif.org.

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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 Honors 25 Programs For Encouraging A Culture of Literacy