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Reading Is Fundamental Announces the Recipients of the 2018 Summer Success Grants

Contact: Christine Lonsdale    



(Washington DC - April 24, 2018) Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) announces the recipients of its 2018 Summer Success matching grant program to support local literacy champions who are making a difference in the lives of children across the country. Made possible in part by the generous support of Macy’s, grant recipients will receive a combination of books and literacy resources to implement the Summer Success program in schools, YMCAs, community organizations, and youth clubs in more than 93 communities across 30 states, impacting more than 10,600 children.

Jennifer Moone, Reading Is Fundamental’s Senior Director of Government & Community Relations, emphasizes the impact of the Summer Success grants, “RIF’s Summer Success Grant program provides critical literacy resources to children over the summer months so that they return to school on track and ready to learn.”

Every child deserves an opportunity to own books, learn how to read, and obtain the fundamental building blocks needed to achieve their highest potential, yet 25 million children in the United States cannot read proficiently. 1 In addition, 34% of children entering kindergarten lack the basic skills needed to learn how to read. 2 By the fourth grade, 65% of children are reading below grade level.

RIF’s new approach to providing awards to local stakeholders seeking greater literacy support for their local community generated significant interest. Community partners applying for a matching grant from RIF were required to define the specific literacy problem, their proposed solution aligned with RIF’s mission, and methods for implementation.

“At Macy’s, giving back to the community is in our DNA,” said Sam Harrison, Macy’s Vice President of Corporate Communications. “Together with our customers, we have helped provide more than 12 million books to children across the country since 2004, and are proud to continue to support Reading Is Fundamental through the Summer Success matching grant program.”

Summer Success Matching Grant Program:

This competitive grant program is designed to impact the summer slide and allow all children to experience the life-changing power of literacy. A summer version of RIF’s evidence-based Read for Success program, Summer Success is an integrated instructional model incorporating in-center and at-home literacy extensions to ensure children have choice and access to literacy materials, making reading relevant and relatable. Instructional support materials in the form of classroom book collections are supplemented by professional development and literacy activities and coupled with the successful RIF Books for Ownership model.

Organizations that will receive 2018 Reading Is Fundamental Summer Success grants to leverage the program along with their planned summer reading activities include:

Books on Bikes:

Books on Bikes is a literacy outreach program located in Newport News, VA based on engaging the whole family around student success. Teacher volunteers ride adult tricycles loaded with books and popsicles into high-poverty student neighborhoods and host two read aloud events per week during the summer. Teachers engage and interact with whole families to build school and home relationships as well as provide reading instruction to students in PK-5th grades.

Our Lady of the Valley Regional School:

Our Lady of the Valley Regional School in Uxbridge, Massachusetts will implement a RIF grant and encourage their students to read three books, complete a book log and create an engaging literacy project during Summer 2018.

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 non profit organization for children's literacy, RIF has provided more than 415 million books to 40 million kids in all 50 states.

About Macy’s:

Macy's, the largest retail brand of Macy's, Inc. delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers at approximately 650 locations in 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam, as well as to customers in the U.S. and more than 100 international destinations through its leading online store at macys.com. Via its stores, e-commerce site, mobile and social platforms, Macy's offers distinctive assortments including the most desired family of exclusive and fashion brands for him, her and home. Macy's is known for such epic events as Macy's 4th of July Fireworks and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, as well as spectacular fashion shows, culinary events, flower shows and celebrity appearances. Macy's flagship stores – including Herald Square in New York City, Union Square in San Francisco, State Street in Chicago, and Dadeland in Miami and South Coast Plaza in southern California – are known internationally and are leading destinations for visitors. Building on a more than 150-year tradition, and with the collective support of customers and employees, Macy's helps strengthen communities by supporting local and national charities giving more than $52 million each year, plus 153,000 hours of volunteer service, to help make a difference in the lives of our customers.

1Based on an analysis of NAEP test scores.

2 Council on Early Childhood (2014). Literacy promotion: An essential component of primary care pediatric practice. Pediatrics 134(2): 404-409.