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RIF Provides More than 750 Free Books to Children at Tuscaloosa Head Start

Organization Calls on Congress to Restore Funding for Book Ownership Program

Tuscaloosa, AL, August 31, 2011—Reading Is Fundamental, the nation’s largest children’s literacy organization, partnered with Jean Dean RIF to provide free books and literacy activities to more than 250 children at Tuscaloosa Head Start. The event served children in an area badly damaged by a deadly tornado earlier this year, and was an opportunity for RIF and its supporters to make a necessary plea to Congress to restore the organization’s federal funding. Current federal funds will take the program only through the new school year.  

“There is a clear and undeniable need for RIF’s services across the country and especially in Alabama and communities like Tuscaloosa hit hard by disaster,” said Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of RIF.  “Now is the time to call on our leaders in Congress to invest in literacy and support funding for children to choose books, to own books, and to have books in their homes.”

During the event, well-known children’s authors George Ella Lyon, Marie Bradby and Lester L. Laminack inspired the children to discover the joy of reading, and promoted the value of having easily accessible books in the home. Following read-alouds of various stories, each child received a copy of “More than Anything Else” by Bradby, “The Pirate of Kindergarten” by Lyon and “Three Hens and a Peacock” by Laminack.

In 2010, more than 6,700 RIF volunteers across Alabama distributed more than 211,000 books to 55,000 children. RIF programs organized 1,800 book distributions statewide to further encourage literacy and ultimately support and serve Alabama’s most underserved children in their efforts to achieve academic success.

In March, RIF’s federal funding was cut without alternatives in place. RIF now is forced to look to alternative funding sources to maintain and expand the organization’s infrastructure so that the 13 million American children living in poverty can be reached and helped.

About Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (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.

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RIF Provides More than 750 Free Books to Children at Tuscaloosa Head Start