“Reading Is Fundamental” Literacy Program in Danger

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.

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International Literacy Day!

Hey, it’s International Literacy Day, according to a UN resolution. I know we don’t take those very seriously here in Amurika, but literacy is important! You too could grow up to get in a readin’ contest with Karl Rove.

My Pet Goat
Is Our Children Learning?

But in all seriousness:

International Literacy Day takes place on September 8 every year to raise awareness and concern for literacy problems that exist within our own local communities as well as globally. International Literacy Day was founded by proclamation of The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, in 1966 “to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights.” International Literacy Day brings ownership of the challenges of illiteracy back home to local communities where literacy begins, one person at a time.

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