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Reading is Fundamental and other programs at risk of losing funding

Reading is FundamentalDuring the recent Institute of the Reading Recovery Council of Michigan, I had an interesting talk with a group of teachers from Detroit. These teachers are deeply invested -- personally and professionally -- in reaching low-income students in their school district.

This group of teachers was extolling the benefits of the Reading is Fundamental, or RIF, program. RIF was founded in 1966, and is the oldest children’s and family nonprofit literacy organization in the United States. RIF’s highest priority is to reach underserved children from birth through age 8. Most of the students that the teachers are working with have been getting books in their homes through RIF since they were babies. The Detroit-based teachers that I spoke with were discussing the fact that if not for RIF these students wouldn’t have their hands on books until they were seated in a Reading Recovery or other intervention classroom.

The discussion was heated at this point as the teachers began to talk about an upcoming vote in the U.S. Senate that could significantly cut funding to RIF. There is a large-scale advocate action going on right now that we can all participate in to make a difference for these and more children. The teachers from Detroit urged me to visit the RIF website, read about the call to action, and send an email to my senator. I did this and now I am urging you to do the same before November 29, when voting begins on the Senate floor.

Lauri Yanis
Director of Sales and Marketing