In Philadelphia, the campaign will directly provide free and new books for children served by the RIF program at Philadelphia Reads.
According to RIF, in middle-income neighborhoods, the ratio of books per child is 13-to-1. However, in low-income neighborhoods, the ratio dramatically declines to one age-appropriate book for every 300 children.
In 2010, RIF provided 15 million books to more than four million underserved children, but government budget cuts have taken their toll on the organization. Federal funding for RIF was not reinstated for fiscal year 2011 and the loss of the federal contract will severely alter access to books for millions of children in this country.
“Be Book Smart comes at a time when RIF truly needs the support of every Macy’s customer,” said Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of RIF. “Macy’s continues to be a generous corporate partner to RIF, and we are thankful for their dedication and commitment to helping us provide books to the children who need them most. We know that together we can reach our goal of building a more literate America.”
Since 2004, RIF’s partnership with Macy’s has raised more than $16 million to support children’s literacy through customer-supported fundraising campaigns, in-store events, and volunteer activities. Additionally, Macy’s is the founding sponsor of RIF’s Multicultural Literacy Campaign, a multi-year effort to promote and support early childhood literacy in African American, Hispanic, and American Indian communities — where reading scores are often the lowest.
Last year, Macy’s supported RIF programs that provided 3.6 million free books to more than 1.2 million children and donated 350 multicultural book collections to RIF programs throughout the country. Macy’s is also RIF’s lead partner for volunteer engagement and fosters a spirit of volunteerism in communities nationwide.
“Macy’s is proud to enter our sixth year of partnership with RIF,” said Martine Reardon, executive vice president of marketing for Macy’s. “We are committed to RIF and the millions of children and families the organization serves. Be Book Smart provides an easy opportunity to give back to local communities by supporting children’s literacy, and we thank customers with a great offer for their back to school and fall fashion shopping!”
So beat the heat in the air-conditioned Macy's department store (closest to me is in the King of Prussia Plaza) and get shopping. Or donate directly to RIF by clicking here.
Click here to watch a short YouTube video about Be Book Smart.
RIF is hosting a sweepstakes on Facebook to encourage supporters to share the Be Book Smart campaign with friends. This week, one winner will be awarded a $500 Macy’s gift card. To participate in the sweepstakes, visit www.rif.org/sweeps. No purchase is required to participate in sweepstakes.
Reading Is Fundamental Inc., founded in 1966, motivates children to read by working with them, their parents, and community members to make reading a fun and beneficial part of everyday life. RIF’s highest priority is reaching underserved children from birth to age 8. Through community volunteers in every state and U.S. territory, RIF provided 4 million children with 15 million new, free books and literacy resources last year. For more information and to access reading resources, visit www.rif.org