WASHINGTON, May 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) announces the recipients of its 2019 Books for Ownership matching grants that support local organizations 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 books and aligned literacy resources to implement RIF's flagship Books for Ownership program during the 2019-2020 school year. This year's applicants reached new records for both the number of students who will receive books and the number of states represented via RIF's matching grant awards.
With more than 164 grantees spanning 44 states and Puerto Rico, this year's recipients will be able to impact more than 126,775 students by providing 255,424 books - the largest number of matching grant recipients to date. Jennifer Moone, Senior Director of Government & Community Relations at RIF, emphasizes the impact of the grants, "RIF's matching grant program provides critical literacy resources to children from birth to grade 12, and we are excited to work with these community organizations to drive our collective literacy impact."
The Books for Ownership program relies on a simple truth: if you give children access to books and choice of what to read, they will become more engaged, confident readers and learners.
This grant comes at a time when 25 million1 children in the United States cannot read proficiently. 34% of children entering kindergarten lack the basic skills needed to learn how to read.2 By the fourth grade, 63% of children do not read at a proficient level.3 Every child deserves an opportunity to own books, learn how to read, and obtain the fundamental building blocks needed to achieve their highest potential.
The 2019 matching grant recipients come from a wide range of organizations - schools, school districts, libraries, community organizations, and other youth-serving entities that are part of the RIF Community. These local stakeholders seek to strengthen literacy in their community by providing books and supporting resources to students.
"Giving back to the community is in our DNA," said Sam Harrison, Macy's Senior Director of Corporate Giving and Volunteerism. "Since 2004, together with our customers, we have helped provide more than 14 million books to children across the country and are proud to continue to support Reading Is Fundamental through the Books for Ownership matching grant program."
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 416 million books to 50 million kids in all 50 states, inspiring generations to read, learn and grow. For more information visit: RIF.org/about-rif
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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 NAEP The Nation's Report Card, 2017
SOURCE Reading Is Fundamental