RIF and First Book Give 500,000 Books to Children Nationwide

Dec 06, 2010, 08:00 ET from Reading Is Fundamental

New Literacy Initiative Helps Share the Joy of Reading this Holiday Season

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation's largest children's literacy nonprofit, and First Book announced a partnership to keep the current "Grinch economy" from spoiling the future for many children this holiday season. Together, the organizations are giving the gift of reading by providing 500,000 new books for children in RIF programs nationwide.

"At a time when many families are struggling with everyday expenses, it is critical that RIF provide children access to books in the home," said Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of Reading Is Fundamental. "We hope these extra books will encourage children and families to discover the joy of reading as they spend time together celebrating the holidays."

As a valued partner since 2005, First Book is helping RIF distribute even more resources by offering

high-quality, free and low-cost children's books to programs serving children in need. Purchase of the half a million books through First Book's Marketplace was made possible by the generous support of Macy's, RIF's largest corporate sponsor. The books donated by Random House Children's Books will be invaluable to the organizations combined efforts to further the cause of children's literacy and spread holiday cheer in a tangible and meaningful way.

"Many of us remember the one book that we wanted to read over and over again, the book that really stirred our imaginations and left us wanting just one more chapter before bedtime," said First Book President, Kyle Zimmer.  "The fact that there are millions of children in our own country that will experience this holiday season without a single book in their homes is devastating," Zimmer continued.   "We are thrilled to team up with our friends at Reading Is Fundamental to work to ensure that all children – regardless of their economic situations – have access to wonderful books and experience the magic of reading this holiday season."

Earlier this year, RIF commissioned Learning Point Associates to conduct a comprehensive research study. The results found that providing children access to print materials improves their reading performance, is instrumental in helping them learn the basics of reading, causes children to read more and for longer lengths of time, and improves their attitude toward reading and learning.

About First Book

First Book (www.firstbook.org) provides new books to children in need, addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy – access to books. An innovative leader in social enterprise, First Book has distributed more than 80 million free and low-cost books in thousands of communities nationwide. For additional books this holiday season please visit the First Book Marketplace (www.fbmarketplace.org).

About RIF

Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF), founded in 1966, motivates children to read by working with them, their parents, and community members to make reading a fun and beneficial part of everyday life. RIF's highest priority is reaching underserved children from birth to age 8. Through community volunteers in every state and U.S. territory, RIF provided 4.4 million children with 15 million new, free books and literacy resources last year. For more information and to access reading resources, visit RIF's website at www.rif.org.

Discover the Joy!

SOURCE Reading Is Fundamental