Category Archives: RIF

Read With Kids Challenge

The good folks over at RIF (Reading is Fundamental) just sent me an email regarding this year’s Read With Kids Challenge. The mission is simple–get adults to spend time reading with children. The goal is huge–log 5 million collective minutes spent reading with kids from now (well, April 1. I’m a little late) until June 30. Log your time individually, or with a team of three or more adults, and not only do you enrich a child’s life (sweet), you’re entered to win a trip to Disney World (double sweet). Also, the winning team gets to choose both a featured RIF program and a school in their community to win a special children’s book collection. The sweetness doesn’t stop!

One of my favorite moments from my vacation in Florida this past Christmas? Lying side-by-side with my niece on her bed as she quietly read one of the books I’d given her (A Little Princess, my favorite when I was her age), and I read mine. Every once in a while I’d tell her to stop and read out loud the sentence she was on. She got a kick out of that. Of course, I occasionally had to skip a sentence or two when she did the same to me–can’t always play totally fair with the young ones when propriety is at stake.

I’ve already spouted on about the need for child literacy, and since most of you who pop by here are writers, I’ll spare the lecture. But, if you’ve got a little carpet crawler, monkey-bar-maniac or other wee (insert cute diminutive) available, snap ’em up and get to readin’.

Have no tots with which to share the book bug? You can always send money.

RIF needs that, too.


Hopping on the Soapbox for a Moment

Our president has decided to cut funding for RIF (Reading is Fundamental). This is the very program implemented in 1966 that gives free books to at-risk children and provides them the tools and support necessary to build a strong foundation in literacy. Without the government funding, the program will be crippled, and many children will fall through the literacy cracks.

As writers (and readers), we know the disturbing trend towards non-reading. How many of us know kids who didn’t even want to read Harry Potter–the most popular children’s book of our day–because they’ve “already seen” the movie? Cutting funding for RIF reinforces that belief, tells these kids that even the government doesn’t see reading as a crucial element in their lives.

If you’re as shocked and incensed by this as I am, please follow this link and click on the top right hand corner of their home page to send a letter to your congressmen/women. The letter is already written, all you have to do is sign–but there’s room to put in your own two cents, if you’re so inclined!

Hopping off my box, now. Have a good weekend, everyone.