RIF in the News
Check out RIF’s signature campaigns, events, and activities making news.

Macy's and RIF present 'Macy's Educator Appreciation Award' to Local Sheldon educator

Macy's partners with Reading Is Fundamental to present 'Macy's Educator Appreciation Award' to Local Sheldon independent school district educator in celebration of August Campaign.

Becky Zalesnik was recognized for excellence in supporting student literacy during an award ceremony held on August 19 at H. M. Carroll Elementary School

High-res images of ceremony are available here. [These images can be credited to Rick Scuteri/AP Images for Macy's Inc.]

Houston, TX – August 20, 2021 – Throughout the month of August, Macy’s is offering customers nationwide the opportunity to round-up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar (up to $0.99) or donate online at macys.com to benefit Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) – the nation’s preeminent nonprofit organization for children’s literacy – and help provide books and additional reading resources to children across the country.

In celebration of the campaign, Macy’s and RIF honored Houston’s own Becky Zalesnik, Executive Director of Innovative Programs for Sheldon Independent School District, with Macy’s Educator Appreciation Award which was presented during a private ceremony on Thursday, August 19 at H.M. Carroll Elementary School. The award recognizes stand-out educators from across the country who have shown excellence in supporting their student’s literacy and learning, and have demonstrated meaningful impact implementing RIF programmatic efforts through Macy’s past funding.

Zalesnik was chosen based on her ambition to make reading fun, including dressing up as The Reading Astronaut. She’s also used books previously donated by RIF and Macy’s to create an outdoor reading center at the district’s Pre-K – Kindergarten STEAM garden which is outfitted with a weather station she helped build.

In addition to the Educator Appreciation Award, Zalesnik received a $50 Macy’s gift card and an in-store styling session with Macy’s Personal Stylist, customized school supplies, a new book collection for the school’s library and 125 literacy kits (tote bag, three books, three bookplates and a bookmark) provided and assembled by local Macy’s colleagues. The kits were distributed to all H.M. Carroll Elementary School second graders by RIF’s President and CEO Alicia Levi and Macy’s colleagues during the ceremony.

“We are so proud of Mrs. Zalesnik for her talents, but also for her consistent efforts to look for resources for our students and community,” said Dr. King Davis, Superintendent of Schools. “We are looking forward to the books and literacy kits provided to our students by Macy’s and RIF as it focuses on one of the most important fundamentals - reading.”

In recognition of Macy’s long-standing support and significant impact on children’s literacy, RIF is honoring Macy’s with its 2021 “Champion of Children’s Literacy” award. Brendan Halford, Macy’s Deerbrook Mall Store Manager, accepted this award during the ceremony on behalf of all Macy’s colleagues.

Giving back is a core pillar of Macy’s values and the 18-year partnership with RIF has resulted in a total contribution of more than $43 million toward children’s literacy and the distribution of more than 14 million books, and 10,000 supplemental literacy resources and tools. To learn more, please visit macys.com/macysgives.

###

About Macy's:
For more than 160 years, Macy’s, the largest retail brand of Macy’s, Inc., has served generations at every stage of their lives. Through a digitally led shopping experience powered by macys.com, our award-winning mobile app, and a nationwide portfolio of stores, Macy’s customers come to us for fashion, value and high-quality products. We are proud of our heritage and the unique role we play in American culture and tradition. We celebrate occasions big and small, and have created decades of memorable experiences through Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks® and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®, as well as spectacular fashion shows, culinary events, flower shows, and celebrity appearances. With the collective support of our customers and colleagues, Macy’s helps make a difference in every market we serve, supporting local and national charities through funding and volunteer service. With fashion, value and celebration as our guide, Macy’s makes life shine brighter for our customers, colleagues and communities. For more information, please visit macysinc.com.

About Reading Is Fundamental:
Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) is committed to a literate America by inspiring a passion for reading among all children, providing quality content to create impact, and engaging communities in the solution to give every child the fundamentals for success. As the nation’s largest nonprofit organization for children’s literacy, RIF has provided more than 420 million books to over 100 million kids in all 50 states, inspiring generations to read, learn and grow. For more information, please visit RIF.org.

Contact:
Liz Stein liz@lizsteinconsulting.com or Dara Klatt at Dara@8thStPR.com