Reading Is Fundamental: Program Overview (page 2)
This program provides books for low-income children and youths from infancy to high school age and supports activities to motivate them to read.
Types of Projects
RIF enters into agreements with local nonprofit private groups or organizations and public agencies to administer free book distributions and reading motivation activities. Federal funds provide up to 75 percent of the cost of the books, with the balance obtained from private and local sources. Migrant programs may receive up to 100 percent of their costs. In selecting projects, priority must be given to those that will serve a substantial number or percentage of children who are low-income. Priority also must be given to projects that support those at risk of school failure, those who are disabled, or those who are homeless, and those who have certain other special needs as indicated in the statute.
The Reading Is Fundamental/Inexpensive Book Distribution program awards an annual contract to Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF) to provide, through aid to local nonprofit groups and volunteer organizations, reading motivation activities. RIF encourages reading both inside and outside of school by allowing youngsters to select books to keep at home.
National Book Program
The National Book Program is RIF's flagship effort. It motivates children, parents, and communities to read together through a series of principles: book ownership, motivational activities, and family involvement. The goals of this program are simple: provide new, free books to children, motivate children to read, and generate community support for literacy. This program is one that works to get all members of the community involved. The National Book Program is the oldest and largest of RIF's programs. It has distributed over 250 million books to children.
Books on the Menu
Books on the Menu is a student-to-student mentoring programs where older children are paired with younger children as " book-mates". The overall mission is to increase the amount of time students spend reading and discussing books. Also, by building relationships between older and younger children, the confidence and self-esteem of the older child is increased.
Family of Readers
Family of Readers focuses on family reading habits and enhancing the time families spend reading together.
RIFNet is the distance learning service of Reading Is Fundamental. RIFNet produces professional development programs that provide important information about how to motivate children to read and how to promote literacy for more than 435,000 literacy volunteers at 23,000 sites nationwide. (RIFNet is funded through a Star Schools grant).
Running Start is a motivational program for first graders and builds on the excitement of first grade, when expectations for success are high. Running Start challenges students to read 21 books in 8-10 weeks. The goal is for parents to give children a burst of ambition at a crucial stage in their development as readers.
Shared Beginnings is a program for both parent and child. Shared Beginnings helps young parents develop their children's early language and literacy skills. Parents are encouraged to read to their children, and the program conveys the importance of "nurturing" literacy. Parents receive practice in activities meant to foster early learning skills, thus giving them the confidence they need to continue to teach their children. Parents are excited by their children's learning and proud of their own achievement.
Reprinted with the permission of the U.S. Department of Education.
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