Last year, I wrote about the threats facing Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the national nonprofit that gives millions of books to children across the country. At the time, the funding for RIF was in jeopardy, and as RIF receives 80 percent of its funding from the government, the program is in trouble.
Last week, Congress approved (and Pres. Obama signed) a bill that will cut funding for the literary organization. RIF CEO Carol H. Rasco had this to say in a statement:
"RIF's ability to provide 4.4 million children with free books and reading encouragement from RIF programs at nearly 17,000 locations throughout the United States is in jeopardy. RIF programs are in schools, community centers, hospitals, military bases, and other locations that serve children from low-income families, children with disabilities, homeless children, and children without adequate access to libraries. For 44 years, RIF has provided millions of children the opportunity to choose free and high-quality books to read and keep for themselves."
Still, it may not be too late to save RIF. You can spread the word about these budget cuts and the effects on children in our country. Encourage your friends, neighbors, school administrators and anyone else who may be interested to write letters in support of RIF to their legislators. Check out RIF's legislative action contact page to find your representative's contact info.
By the way, RIF wasn't the only program that got the axe. The same temporary spending law cut funds for other educational organizations, including the National Writing Project. Write to your representative and let them know that reading — and writing — are fundamental for our children.