Reading is Fundamental

The acronym RIF has been around so long that sometimes we might forget what it stands for.


And it is. The organization, which has a mission “to make reading a fun and beneficial part of everyday life,” gets books into the hands of kids who otherwise wouldn’t own them. Think about a home with no bookcases. Think about a kid with no home. These are the people RIF helps.

At a RIF reception in her honor this week, National Book Award Winner Kathryn Erskine talked about the the power of reading. She spoke of quiet moments, watching her son read to her daughter before he really knew how. He was still talking in the sing-songy voice of a toddler, she said, but he already knew that a book meant comfort. And later: Knowledge. And love. At the end of the presentation, RIF’s board chairman, John Remondi, stood up to mention the same thing RIF CEO Carol Rasco has been tweeting all week: RIF is in danger of losing its funding.

Our representatives have spent a lot of hours figuring out what they think they can cut from the budget — like funding for RIF and NPR and PBS. So here’s where we get together and tell them what they can’t cut, because it’s too important. RIF makes it easy to do here and here. Or you could go to your representative’s home page, like I did. Click “contact,” and let him or her know what’s important to you. Remember: you don’t need a singing voice to join the chorus.

Kathy Erskine signs "Mockingbird" for RIF's Carol Rasco.

Kathy Erskine signs a book for RIF CEO Carol Rasco. Photo by Sara Lewis Holmes, author, poet, RIF supporter.

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2 Responses to Reading is Fundamental

  1. admin says:

    I count on you for those opinions, Kelly!!!!

  2. You know, when you put programs like RIF in context with the fact that we spend 500 million dollars on military marching bands (and the fact that when you exclude funding on Iraq, Afghanistan AND homeland security, the military budget is STILL 80% higher today than it was in 2001) spending on RIF is chump change. It’s just a bunch of blow-hards kicking a bunch of little kids to prove a point. It’s cowardly, it’s stupid and it doesn’t fix the underlying problem.

    Not that I’d express an opinion on it or nuthin 😉

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