A national nonprofit that gives millions of books to children throughout the country is up in arms over the president's proposed budget cuts. Unless something changes, Reading is Fundamental, a literacy organization launched more than 30 years ago, may no longer exist after next year. President Obama's 2011 proposed budget does not include funding for Reading is Fundamental. RIF receives 80 percent of its funding from the government.
Through community volunteers in every state and U.S. territory, RIF provides 4.5 million children with 16 million new, free books and literacy resources each year. With funding primarily from the U.S. Department of Education, as well as corporations, foundations, community organizations, and individuals, RIF has provided more than 350 million books since 1966 for children to choose and keep.
Currently, the organization is rallying parents, educators and the community with a "write your politician campaign" on the Internet. All you have to do is go to their website and sign your name — that's it! Without federal funding, RIF will become a thing of the past, and so will reading for the millions of children and families who have benefited from their free books and reading encouragement.