Friday, April 9, 2010

Children's Literacy Activist Alert!!!

Reading is Fundamental Needs Our Help NOW!

Action Alert: Reinstate RIF's Funding Effort Moves to Senate!President Obama's proposed FY11 budget eliminates funding for RIF and RIF's nationwide services. Support is building in the House, but the Senate process is just beginning.

From an excellent article in The New York Times, "U.S. Plan Threatens Free-Book Group," by Stephanie Strom-

"Changes in the way the federal government plans to allocate money to increase and improve literacy pose a severe threat to one of the country’s best-known nonprofit groups, Reading Is Fundamental

Known commonly as RIF, the organization, which provides free books to needy children and has been promoted in memorable public service announcements by celebrities like Carol Burnett and Shaquille O'Neal, stands to lose all of its federal financing, which accounts for roughly 75 percent of its annual revenues.

. . .Under the federal budget proposed for the 2011 fiscal year, the Department of Education has proposed pooling the money it allocates to RIF, another nonprofit organization, the National Writing Project, and five of its own grant programs, and instead distributing it to state and local governments. Under that plan, RIF and the writing project would have to compete state by state for federal funds"

“This really means that we would have to hire people to write grant applications tailored to the specific requirements of each state,” Ms. Rasco [Carol Rasco, chief executive of RIF] said. “That’s money we otherwise would be using to buy books for kids.”  

    Susan Poag/The Times-Picayune, via Associated Press

Educators and librarians know that literacy is the foundation for all learning, and that to create lifelong readers kids need to know how to read and they need terrific informative, enlightening, and yes, even entertaining books to keep them reading.  

For generations, Reading is Fundamental has given great books to thousands and thousands of kids in need.  Help them now! 
Contact your representatives in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Find out what you need to do, and how you need to do it, here: