Via Booksqure and then Book Club Girl – Funding for RIF (Reading is Fundamental) is cut in the 2009 Federal Budget You can get involved through this link. And by cut, I mean their book distribution program has been totally de-funded.
From Kay McSpadden’s article in the Charlotte Observer: Despite the overwhelming research that shows literacy is the most important skill for any child to acquire for future success, President Bush’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2009 eliminates the Inexpensive Book Distribution administered by RIF. Authorized by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (SEC.5451), the Inexpensive Book Distribution program is not funded by earmarks and has been supported by Congress and every administration since 1975 until this one.
There are a lot of children in this country who don’t have huge libraries in their neighborhoods. Their schools are underfunded and they don’t have support at home for reading. It’s programs like RIF who have supported and encouraged kids to read and in doing so, gives them tools to overcome these stumbling blocks.
From RIF’s Site: RIF programs offer enriching activities that spark children’s interest in reading. And every child involved with RIF gets to choose and keep new books, at no cost to the children or their families.
Although RIF programs are run in a variety of communities, some of RIF’s most important work occurs in communities where students are at great risk of educational failure. Wherever kids are served—at schools, libraries, childcare centers, Head Start programs, parks, community centers, health clinics, migrant camps, or domestic shelters—RIF can make a difference!
This article by teacher Kay McSpadden is illustrative of just exactly why a program like RIF is important. It’s a small thing to most of us with bookshelves to the ceilings, but to a kid who never had a book to call her own until they got one from the RIF program, it’s huge.