If you’re about my age (39, that is) the commercials and reading programs for the nonprofit program RIF – Reading is Fundamental – are probably as vivid a childhood memory for you as they are for me. Not only were they played during Sesame Street and the Electric Company, but they were part of the reading films we saw in class in our Elementary School.
Reading is Fundamental is the oldest and largest children’s and family nonprofit literacy organization in the United States; they actively foster a love of reading, involvement in children’s literacy by families and community, and donations of books to children that need and love them.
RIF regularly visited our school and gave us free books; for us that was an awesome bonus since we had tons from our parents and grandparents, but for some kids, RIF is a reading lifeline that makes a huge impact on how they succeed as adults.
Now for the first time since 1975, the Bush Administration has decided to cut funding for RIF completely. When I read that I was stunned – I can’t imagine a program that had such a large footprint in my childhood consciousness disappearing.
Please follow the link to send a message to our elected officials asking them not to allow a program that has had such a large impact on the lives of several generations of Americans to evaporate.
UPDATE – Due to the large outcry against cutting funding, RIF’s program was added back into the federal budget. If you were one of the kind folks who wrote to your elected officials, please thank them for stepping up on behalf of RIF.