“You can’t be a writer without reading. It’d be like trying to be a chef without ever eating.”—George Ella Lyon
An audience of 65 5th-grade students were treated to the wit and wisdom of author and poet George Ella Lyon today at DC Prep’s Edgewood Middle Campus.
Lyon’s book “All the Water in the World” is featured in RIF’s Multicultural Book Collection, which was also provided to the school. And instead of reading the children her book, Lyon (who is also a singer and songwriter) sang them the book, with the kids leading the chorus.
Lyon talked a lot about the experiences she had as a child and how they led her to becoming a writer, encouraging them to share their own stories with the world. She showed the kids her writing notebooks. And she answered some great questions from a very engaged and gracious crowd.
Then, in true RIF style, students got to pick two books from a large selection of titles. (Nancy Drew and Wayside School books were a big hit.) They wrote their names in their books, sent us off with a big “THANK YOU!” and headed back to their classrooms, with books and summer reading activities in hand.
The event was all part of our partnership this year with the Junior League of Washington (JLW), which reached 6,500 other students in D.C. this week, all taking home two books of their own. Throughout the year, RIF and JLW have given out more than 33,000 books to kids in underserved communities. Talk about book people uniting!
Involved with community organization like the Junior League, Lions Club or Kiwanis Club and looking to get involved with RIF in your area? Contact Jennifer Katz, RIF’s director of government relations & community outreach, to learn more.
But then came cupcakes, Clifford and members of Congress.
Our annual See What’s Brewing with RIF event on Capitol Hill was a great opportunity to showcase the work of RIF programs nationwide and to talk to policymakers about RIF’s work getting books to kids in need.
Thanks to everyone who came to our event, who shared their own stories of RIF in action, and who pledged to stand by us in our work to ensure every child has the books and literacy resources they need to succeed. Guessing the cupcakes didn’t hurt either?
Keep the dialogue going by telling your Member of Congress about the work that RIF is doing. http://www.rif.org/us/get-involved/advocate/action-center.htm
Photo Source: kynan tait
They are given so many tests and so little time and resources to fit in everything they want into their curriculum.
Yet, against all odds, teachers have still found a way to inspire their students.
Tomorrow’s Education Week’s live chat will explore how teachers are inspiring children to be lifelong readers.
The chat – May 15, 2013, at 4PM EST – will be hosted by author Maddie Witter, who will discuss resources for K-12 teachers that align with Common Core State Standards, adapting strategies for children with special needs, and preparing students for standardized test. She’ll also answer questions from the audience.
Be sure to tune in at: http://www.edweek.org/tm/section/chat/2013/05/15/index.html#email
Photo Source: courosa
This morning, we kept our WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE celebration going in true RIF fashion – heading off to share the joy of reading with more than 100 children at Amidon-Bowen Elementary School in Washington, D.C.
Basketball legend and children’s book author Kareem Abdul-Jabbar joined RIF in giving the kids of Amidon-Bowen Elementary the gift of reading with their very own copy of WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE —and a special reading of the book by Kareem.
Amidon-Bowen holds a special spot in RIF’s heart – as it’s home to the very first RIF program. The school was also presented with RIF’s Multicultural Book Collection, in recognition of Margaret McNamara, RIF’s founder, and Barbara Atkinson, RIF’s first programs director. And thanks to the generosity of longtime board member and daughter of RIF’s founder, Margaret McNamara Pastor, the school is just one of 27 DC-based RIF programs to receive the Collection.
Seeing the smiles on faces of the kids and teachers as they received their books was a perfect way to end our wild rumpus.
Check out our Flickr album for more photos from the distribution!
Keep the wild rumpus going. Download our “Where The Wild Things Are” activity sheet for your kids.
Help kids in need get a book of their own. Learn how: https://secure2.convio.net/rif/site/Donation2?df_id=2432&2432.donation=form1&JServSessionIdr004=n1idgjrhk2.app202a
Photo: Left, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Right, Kaya Henderson, Chancellor of D.C. Public Schools (Kevin Wolf/AP Images for Reading Is Fundamental)
It’s Teacher Appreciation Week. Mother’s Day is this weekend. And Father’s Day and graduation are just around the corner.
How can you stay ahead of the holidays and give the people in your corner the gratitude they deserve?
It’s simple. A gift to RIF in their honor is a thoughtful and easy way to tell the teachers, moms, dads and grads how much they mean to you.
You can send one online in a matter of minutes. You can even select a colorful eCard and personalize the message telling them how much they mean to you in your own special way.
Get started today.
What a “wild rumpus” for all! Last night more than 350 book people turned out to support Reading Is Fundamental at our 2013 WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE Gala.
Maurice Sendak’s iconic book came to life as the Four Seasons of Washington, D.C., was transformed into a jungle where any wild thing would feel at home.
Led by author and designer Tracy Hutson of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” we celebrated the work of RIF and our Volunteers of the Year, heard from renowned historian and children’s book critic Leonard Marcus about Sendak’s legacy, and honored our longtime partners at Macy’s.
In an experience not to be forgotten, the legendary Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – a children’s book author himself – spoke with the crowd about his love of reading and treated us to a reading of Sendak’s iconic book.
The evening was sweetly capped off with a Monster Chocolate Bash and an overwhelming sense of commitment to RIF’s work on behalf of millions of children across the nation, who count on RIF for the books that give them a chance to dream big. Just like Max and his Wild Things.
Check out our photos from the wild night on our Flickr page.
Photo Source: Art copyright © 1963 by Maurice Sendak
Unfamiliar with the history? The day recognizes the surprise defeat of Napoleon’s French army in the State of Puebla. The battle was an important victory in Mexico’s fight to end the French occupation.
Celebrate with these Mexican-American inspired Pura Belpré Award books:
- Diego Rivera: His World and Ours by Duncan Tonatiuh
- Frida: ¡Viva la vida! Long Live Life! by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand
- Me, Frida by Amy Novesky, illustrated by David Diaz
- César: ¡Sí, Se Puede! Yes, We Can! by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, illustrated by David Diaz
- Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Yuyi Morales
Looking for other great Latina/o authors or illustrators? Check out other medalists in the Pura Belpré Awards, named after the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library.
Photo Source: Khem
Get in the Gala spirit—participate in our online artwork auction before anyone else gets a chance to at the Gala. This exclusive collection allows you to bid on one-of-a-kind pieces including some works created specifically for this event!
- Dr. Seuss; Green Eggs and Ham
- Dr. Seuss; Horton & Friends
- Dr. Seuss; The Lorax Book Cover
- Dr. Seuss; The Sneetches
- Dr. Seuss; Turtle Tower
- The Party by Ashley Bryan
- Pig in Pond by Mark Teague
- Swamp Chomp by Paul Meisel
- Moose with Bongos by Paul O. Zelinsky
- Octopus Reading by Peter Sis
- Sailboat by Peter Sis
- Man on Stage by Peter Sis
- Man on Moped by Chris Raschka
- First Snow by Rosemary Wells
- The Wild Little Horse by Ashley Wolff
- An homage to “Where The Wild Things Are” by Tony DiTerlizzi
- An homage to “Where The Wild Things Are” by William Joyce
- Max (an homage to “Where The Wild Things Are”) by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
- Max and RIF signed poster by Maurice Sendak
There are so many pieces of art to choose from, it’s really such a treasure to find these priceless pieces on sale at such a reasonable price while raising money for such an important cause.
Best of luck on your bid!
Dr. Bailey’s program serves primarily Spanish-speaking children, and one little girl stands out in his memory.
“Last year, this first-grade girl received her RIF books and you could tell reading in English was a challenge for her. Well, she spent all summer with her RIF books. This fall, she sought me out at her RIF distribution. She said, ‘Can I read this one to you?’ And she read like she never had any problems. The transformation was remarkable. She was so proud of her progress.”
Were it not for Dr. Bailey – and the kindness of strangers – that may have been her last book.
With the loss of a federal grant that supplied books to Dr. Bailey’s program each year, it looked like that distribution was the school’s last. But Dr. Bailey wasn’t going without a fight.
“I called the local media and talked to them about what we’d been doing for the last almost two decades, about how children who didn’t have books at home were being given books through RIF,” he explained. “We got a great write-up in the local paper. It wasn’t long until I heard from a couple in town who clearly understand the value of books in a child’s life. They asked how much it would take to keep the program running. And they wrote a check.”
Dr. Bailey, who is a Professor of Education at Pacific University, then worked with the university to set up a fund for the program. Some of his colleagues also donated, with one fellow faculty member setting up a monthly donation.
“The community of Forest Grove Oregon really rallied behind us,” said Dr. Bailey. “It’s always been about supporting children’s literacy. To place a book in a child’s hands, it can change their lives.”
Interested in supporting Reading Is Fundamental through monthly donations? Visit www.rif.org/monthly.
Photo Source: Michal Thompson/Forest Grove Leader
It’s pretty clear being a mom takes a lot of work – and we celebrate all that work with a single day?
Thanks to Macy’s, we’ve now got two whole weeks, with a big bonus for RIF.
Sunday, April 28th through Mother’s Day, send a Macy’s Mother’s Day card to all the moms in your life on Facebook and Macy’s will donate $2 to RIF for every card sent. You can send up to 10 cards a day via email and up to 15 cards a day via Facebook, every day!
So get celebrating this Sunday. Be sure to choose Reading Is Fundamental when you’re selecting your card – and help children in need get the books they so desperate deserve.
Photo Source: slopjop
Reading Is Fundamental is a 501(c)3 tax-deductible organization (Tax ID# 52-097-6257). Your contribution will help us provide free books and literacy resources to children who need them most.