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Reading Is Fundamental launches nationwide initiative "Rally To Read 100"

A pledge to read 100 books in six months, and chance for 100 schools to win a total of 10,000 books, brings together roster that includes Actor LeVar Burton, Environmental Advocate Philippe Cousteau Jr. and New York Times Bestselling Author Joanna Ho

Washington, DC – September 1, 2021 – To celebrate the milestone of 100 million children served since its founding in 1966, Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) announced today the launch of Rally to Read 100—a six-month initiative that runs from September 1, 2021 to March 2, 2022 that unites classrooms and communities across the country to inspire and motivate children to read 100 books during this time. Educators, students, and families can take this pledge as a commitment to drive reading frequency and engagement for young readers in their lives.

After more than a year of significant learning disruptions, RIF is dedicated to providing educators with new and exciting ways to spark students' reading passion as they head back into the classrooms this Fall. They are launching an engaging series of new monthly content that includes: virtual read-alouds with notable and diverse authors and illustrators; 10,000 books in prizes, with an opportunity for individual schools to be awarded 100 diverse books for their library or classrooms; interactive activities for educators, families, and students; and a high-spirited Read Across America Day event on March 2, 2022. Beginning today, the monthly read-alouds, extension activities, reading activities, and book lists are available at .

Noting how 25 million children in the U.S. cannot read proficiently, with millions more falling behind on basic reading skills because of COVID-19, Reading Is Fundamental President and CEO Alicia Levi said, “Rally to Read is a simple yet compelling initiative to unite our nation’s educators, students, and families around the importance of reading to re-engage our children in a life-long love of reading, curiosity about the world, and passion for exploration and growth through books. We take tremendous pride in serving more than 100 million children over our 56-year history, and are excited to launch this inaugural initiative across America at such a critical time.”

RALLY TO READ 100 PROGRAM ELEMENTS:

Pledge to Read 100 Books: Participants can pledge to read 100 books over six months and receive engaging content and book recommendations to support this goal.
Book Collection Sweepstakes: 100 randomly selected eligible schools will win 100 specially-curated diverse books to enhance their school’s library and classrooms.
Monthly-Themed Events: Each month features topics ranging from nature and diversity to compassion and community with tools for fun, engaging time spent exploring books; companion activities; and a video recorded read-aloud by noteworthy authors and illustrators. Featured read-alouds include:

   o September (Community ) - LeVar Burton, Author of The Rhino Who Swallowed the Storm    o October (Nature) - Philippe Cousteau Jr.,, Author of Follow the Moon Home    o November (Family) - Cynthia Leitich Smith,, Author of Jingle Dancer    o December (Diversity) - Lulu Delacre, Author and Illustrator of Luci Soars & Sheetal Sheth Author of Always Anjali    o January (Adventure) - Don Tate,Illustrator of Black all Around    o February (Compassion) - Joanna Ho,Authorof Playing at the Border

   ● Complementary Reading Activities: Classroom and at-home resources are available for educators and families to use for continued reading engagement throughout the program, any time.
   ● Rally to Read 100 Classroom Program Kits: Includes posters, bookmarks, take-home postcards and more for the first 500 educators to request.

Official partners Macy’s and International Paper are two of a group of organizations showing support. “Macy’s is proud to support organizations like Reading Is Fundamental who share the same commitment in strengthening the communities where we live and work,” said Sam Di Scipio, Director, Corporate Communications, Giving & Volunteerism at Macy’s. “As our children return to classrooms this fall, we want to make sure they have their best foot forward. Rally to Read 100 is a wonderful initiative that will help inspire and empower millions of children across America.”

“At International Paper, we believe that we cannot succeed if our communities do not succeed. The future of our communities depends on children, and literacy is critical to their success,” said Dr. Alissa Campbell Shaw, senior manager, community engagement, International Paper and executive director, The IP Foundation. “We are proud to team up with RIF to bring the power and excitement of reading to this community.”

READ ACROSS AMERICA DAY CELEBRATION EVENT:

The culmination of the six-month Rally to Read program will feature a nationwide online finale event on March 2, 2022 with a high-profile host and guests (to be announced), discussion with authors, and announcement of sweepstakes winners.

Reading Is Fundamental would like to recognize the generous support of partners. Official Partners include: International Paper, Macy’s, and Scholastic and Promotional Partners include: Amazon, Dollar General Literacy Foundation, Fidelity Investments, Keenan Insurance, McDonalds, Nellie Mae Education Foundation, Navient Community Fund, Pitney Bowes Foundation, Post-It, Starbucks, State Farm, and UGI Utilities, Inc. Reading Is Fundamental is also collaborating with National PTA to engage families in the initiative.

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