It's never stopped being Fundamental

Back in April of 2008, I wrote a post about how Reading is Fundamental (RIF) was in trouble: the Bush administration had planned to eliminate all funding for it. A few weeks later, Spud updated with the good news that the letter writing campaign to save RIF worked.

RIF is facing elimination again.
The Republican House leadership has released their proposed FY2011 Continuing Resolution 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 maintains a presence for RIF in the FY11 budget, 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 serve 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); it has been funded by Congress and six Administrations without interruption since 1975.

Last fall RIF released a report from Learning Point Associates, an affiliate of the American Institutes for Research, noting the results of a meta-analysis of 44 studies classified as rigorous of the 108 examined in the overall review commissioned by RIF. The study found that access to print materials:
- Improves children’s reading performance
- Is instrumental in helping children learn the basics of reading
- Causes children to read more and for longer lengths of time
- Produces improved attitudes toward reading and learning among children

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.
RIF has created an easy way to contact your congressperson and urge them to save this much needed program. Please do so!

[Related reading: It's Fundamental, It's Still Fundamental]

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus