Right now RIF aka Reading Is Fundamental could use your help - RIF distributes approximately 16 million books each year to young, at risk students. I volunteer at our school distribution and you should see how awed the Kindergarteners are when they find out they get to KEEP the book they choose. While some of you know my children don't need free books and that our particular school is excellent in it's reading program and has a wonderful library, 68% of the children at our school qualify for free or reduced priced meals. I feel bad because we have been telling them that each year they will receive 3 books OF THEIR OWN CHOOSING, which adds up to 18 books by the time they graduate 5th grade. As it stands - our next distrubution may be our last.
Right now, funding has been cut from the budget, which means children all over the US will not receive these books. And many of these children cannot afford even one book of their own, may not live near a library, may not have teachers who can afford to stock wonderful classroom libraries. Perhaps, if funding needs to be cut, it could include a grade restriction, or stricter income guidelines, but this program is needed. Foster a love of reading, and encourage literacy. Read more here, and click on the Act Now link, where you can simply send the provided letter (RIF will e-mail it to your representatives if they haven't already signed on- SO easy) or add your own comments and personalize your letter. Do it now - pretty please.
Also, US Airways has a promotion going on in partnership with RIF, the Read with Kids Challenge, aimed to log 1 million minutes of reading by May 31st. I know you all read to your children, so log on, log in your time, and have a little fun with it too- decorate your own airplane, check out some kid games, perhaps win some prizes, even a trip to Disney. Can't hurt, can it?
Let me know how many minutes a night you read with your kids. Who reads to who changes every night at our house, but last night Rich read to Mira, I read a few chapters of one of Natasha's books, and Sarah (who is not at all interested in the current Natasha series) read Despereaux for awhile.
Thanks, and have fun.