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Reading Is Fundamental Announces Recipients of Its Summer Success Grants

(Washington DC – February 8, 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. 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 20 communities across 13 states, impacting more than 2,800 children.

Jennifer Moone, Reading Is Fundamental’s Senior Director of Government and Community Relations, emphasizes the impact of the Summer Success grants, “In partnership with these grantees, RIF will be working in communities nationwide to provide critical literacy resources in support of summer reading initiatives that will have deep impact to help students avoid the ‘summer slide’.”

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.3

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.

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.

An example of an organization that will receive 2018 Reading Is Fundamental Summer Success grants to leverage the program along with their planned summer reading activities is:

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.

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 413 million books impacting more than 40 million kids in all 50 states.

1 Based 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.

3 National Center for Education Statistics. The Nation’s Report Card: A First Look: 2013 Mathematics and Reading.