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Sayre Public Library Selected as Reading Is Fundamental Program of the Month

RIF Program turns reading into a family affair for Beckham County, Okla. residents

WASHINGTON, April 4, 2011 – Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation’s largest children’s literacy nonprofit, named the Sayre Public Library, located in Beckham County, as the national Program of the Month honoree for April 2011.

RIF Account Coordinator Jeannene Blevins started the program when 80 percent of students had no books or other reading materials in their homes. Ms. Blevins’ goal was to place books in the hands of all 245 pre-k through 2nd graders while emphasizing community involvement in literacy. To do so, the RIF program held numerous workshops to educate parents on the importance of building a strong relationship with their children and encouraging them to read.

“We chose the RIF program because of its emphasis on children and families. Regardless of how well parents read themselves, RIF helps parents develop skills and techniques for ‘school-long’ involvement in their children’s reading.  Children need this kind of parental encouragement and support,” said RIF Account Coordinator Jeannene Blevins.

“Supporting literacy means much more than giving books to children for the Sayre community,” said Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of RIF. “With the nearest bookstore 60 miles away, the ability to place books in the hands of all 245 pre-k through second graders has now become a family affair.”

In addition to parent workshops, the Sayre Public Library RIF program held three book distributions, serving an average of 30-40 children at each. The number of visitors to the library has noticeably increased since the RIF program began. Before the Sayre Public Library RIF program, many children and parents were not aware that they could access the local library.

RIF launched the Program of the Month initiative to honor the ongoing efforts of local programs to fulfill RIF’s mission, which relies on innovative programs promoting children’s literacy in their communities. 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 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.

Discover the Joy!                                                                

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Sayre Public Library Selected as Reading Is Fundamental Program of the Month