WASHINGTON, Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation's largest children's literacy organization, celebrates 50 years of inspiring children to read with a continued commitment to providing access to and choice of books for those who need them most. In November of 1966, RIF's founder, Margaret McNamara, sparked a literacy movement by helping kids from underserved communities have books to call their own. She understood that a child without books starts out behind academically and is likely to stay behind for the rest of his or her life. Since then, RIF has become the nation's largest children's literacy organization and has distributed more than 412 million books to 40 million children across the country. With two out of three children living in poverty in the U.S. still without books, the need for RIF's presence is as great now as it was back then.
"Reading Is Fundamental has a longstanding commitment to providing free, high-quality books and literacy resources to children who need them most," remarked Carol H. Rasco, RIF President and CEO. "RIF not only inspires children to read, we have developed key programs and initiatives that help children excel at reading and close the achievement gap. Their future depends on us and we encourage everyone to take part in supporting our nation's children."
Three prominent RIF Advocates are honorary co-hosts of the celebration. Margaret McNamara Pastor, Lynda Johnson Robb, and Carol B. Sisco Ph.D. will serve in an advisory role, providing guidance and support to the 50th anniversary initiative. They are distinguished members of the community, with longtime commitments to children's literacy and leadership on behalf of RIF.
To commemorate RIF's 50th anniversary, a range of initiatives are underway to celebrate RIF's legacy while making a difference for today's children.
Share your RIF Story – Do you remember the RIF Bookmobile rolling down the streets of your neighborhood, or a favorite book or character that inspired you to love reading? We want to hear from you! Share your RIF story via photo or video and be part of RIF's legacy. www.RIF.org/share.
Access to Digital Learning – In celebration of RIF's 50th anniversary, ustyme has partnered with RIF to give the gift of a billion free e-books throughout the anniversary year. This #GivingTuesday we're giving back to the communities we serve through the Billion e-Book Gift campaign. Visit us online for your free 50 e-book library starting December 1, 2015. www.RIF.org/50ebooks.
RIF's 50th Anniversary Gala – On May 5, 2016, RIF will be marking its 50th anniversary with an evening celebrating books and inspiring children to read. Join us in Washington, D.C. for this fun and lively birthday bash.
50,000 Book Challenge – Throughout the year, RIF will be challenging existing partners and major corporations to help achieve our mission by providing 50,000 books each for kids who need them most.
RIF's Birthday Party – In fall 2016, RIF will be celebrating its 50th birthday with a virtual birthday bash in schools across the country along with local proclamations and advocacy initiatives in communities near you.
In addition, RIF programs, corporate partners and affiliated organizations across the U.S. will be joining in with local events, book giveaways and more to make a real impact on the lives of the many children who still need books.
About Reading Is Fundamental
Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) transforms lives through the power of books. By providing children in need with access to books of their choosing, RIF empowers young minds to embrace the world of reading and develop a love of learning. As the nation's largest children's literacy organization, RIF has provided more than 412 million books to 40 million RIF kids over 50 years, inspiring generations to read, learn and grow. Visit us online to learn more, www.rif.org.
SOURCE Reading Is Fundamental