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Sports and Arts in School Foundation Selected as Reading Is Fundamental National Program of the Month

New York City Program Revamps Book Distributions to Meet the Needs of Students

WASHINGTON, February 1, 2011 – Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation’s largest children’s literacy nonprofit, selected the Sports and Arts in School Foundation (SASF) as its national Program of the Month honoree for February 2011.

Since September 2000, SASF’s afterschool programs have held RIF book distributions in 18 schools across New York City. More than a year ago, SASF RIF coordinators, Jan Michael Dionisio and Elizabeth Seifu, decided to revamp the program in order to solicit feedback from various site directors across the city.

Previous SASF RIF coordinators placed large book orders and distributed books to sites without additional input from site directors, which resulted in sites receiving books that did not always cater to their children’s interests. With this understanding, the pair stopped sending books and instead invited site coordinators to come to SASF’s Queens-based headquarters to select books and provide recommendations for their program.

“It helps us gauge what the kids want to read on a site-by-site level,” said Seifu, which is vital to satisfying SASF’s young readers. Furthermore, Dionisio created a survey for site directors that informs SASF RIF which books are most popular, and also provides more accurate information for better record-keeping.

“Jan Dionisio and Elizabeth Seifu always go above and beyond to make the program a success for children,” said Carol H. Rasco, President and CEO of RIF. “Their strategic thinking and commitment to empower their site directors and students show how passionate and invested they are in RIF. More than 4,000 children in New York City have benefitted from their work and tireless efforts.”

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!

Sports and Arts in School Foundation Selected as Reading Is Fundamental National Program of the Month