President Obama Eliminates Funding for Reading Is Fundamental's Book Distribution Program Serving 4.4 Million Children Nationwide
Statement from Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO, of Reading Is Fundamental February 5, 2010
"On February 1, President Obama released his proposed FY2011 budget which eliminates the funding for Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and its nationwide services. Without this federal funding, over 4.4 million children and families will not receive free books or reading encouragement from RIF programs at nearly 17,000 locations throughout the U.S.
"Unless Congress reinstates $25 million in funding for this program, RIF will not be able to distribute 15 million books annually to the nation's children at greatest risk for academic failure. RIF programs in schools, community centers, hospitals, military bases, and other locations serving children from low-income families, children with disabilities, homeless children, and children without adequate access to libraries. The Inexpensive Book Distribution program is authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (SEC.5451 Inexpensive Book Distribution Program for Reading Motivation) and is not funded through earmarks. It has been funded by Congress and six Administrations without interruption since 1975.
"Since its founding in 1966, RIF has played a critical role in improving literacy in this country by providing new, free books for children to keep and build home libraries. Access to books and the power of choice ignite children's hunger for knowledge and a passion for learning. In addition, research has shown that children who have more access to books not only perform better academically, but also become productive individuals whose contributions help create strong communities. On behalf of RIF and its network of over 400,000 volunteers nationwide, I urge all Americans to contact their congressional representatives and ask them to reinstate funding for this vital program."
Act Now: RIF.org/saverif
The RIF program is one of the best funding sources for getting kids access to books at a young age. Follow the link above to try to send an e-mail to your representative urging him or her to keep RIF in the budget.