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Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF)

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The mission of Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF) is to motivate young children to read by working with children, their parents, and community members to make reading a fun and beneficial part of everyday life. RIF's vision is a literate America with children obtaining access to books and discovering the joy and value of reading. RIF makes free books and literacy resources available to families who need them most. The oldest and largest children's and family non-profit literacy organization in the United States, RIF operates a network of thousands of volunteers including teachers, parents, and librarians?at thousands of sites nationwide including schools and community centers. Since 1966, RIF has distributed 412 million books for children to choose and keep. In fiscal year 2013, local RIF programs provided more than 1.8 million books to children.

RIF uses a community-based approach built around active partnerships with teachers, principals, librarians and parents that is based on decades of research.

Research shows that reading abilities in third grade act as a tell-tale barometer for later school success. Children who read at grade level in the third grade are more likely to graduate high school, pursue further education or get a job. RIF?s literacy communities provide reading activities grounded in the school curriculum that will give children the fullest opportunity to read well by age 8. The key components of RIF?s work are our signature book distribution program and a project to help stem summer learning loss for kids kindergarten through 3rd grade.

RIF's signature book program: RIF's book ownership program remains an important pillar of our mission. RIF was founded on the belief that all children need their own books to choose, own, and cherish. With a renewed focus on books with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) content, RIF also includes connections to the school curriculum that help students integrate their classroom experiences.

To target low income communities, RIF works in schools or community centers where 80% or more of the students qualify for free and reduced meals.  To receive books and resources from RIF, volunteer coordinators must commit to providing feedback to RIF.  Communications to RIF coordinators and details on book selection and fulfillment are maintained in a database in RIF?s Washington DC office.

For nearly 50 years, RIF has shown unwavering commitment to the children across the nation who need books and delivered a message of hope and opportunity to the children most at risk, encouraging them to perform better in school and become confident and lifelong learners.