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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Help Save RIF!: Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) Funding Cut From Government Budget

My mother read to me from an early age. She grew up in a household of teachers; she understood the importance of introducing literacy early and reinforcing it often. She deserves most, but not all of the credit for my love of a good book. The Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) program sealed the deal.

When I was in kindergarten RIF visited my school and scattered books on, under and around a large table positioned center stage in our auditorium. I selected my book then as I do now, with great patience and consideration. I was one of the last to leave. A RIF sticker saying, "This book belongs to Desiré," was centered in the front cover of the book completing the exchange. It was the first time that I chose the story; that day, my reading life became my own, and I became a writer in the making.

Stories like mine are being jeopardized by recent budget cuts. Given the successful 42 year history of the program and the consistent lament regarding the state of literacy in the U. S., a state of decline, how can this budget cut have been supported? If you believe in RIF's Mission, write your Congress person and let them know that you want funding returned to this successful and necessary program.

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