Yes, Reading Is Fundamental

With this issue focusing on books and reading, The Georgetowner asked non-profit RIF to explain its mission and work.

Twenty-five million children in the United States can’t read proficiently, and that’s acrisis of epic proportions.

Reading Is Fundamental’s mission is to create a literate America by inspiring apassion for reading among all children, providing quality content and engaging communities in the solution to give every child the fundamental building blocks for success.

Every child deserves the opportunity to own books and to learn how to read. As thenation’s largest nonprofit organization for children’s literacy for 50-plus years, RIF has provided more than 415 million books, impacting the lives of 40 million kids in all 50 states.

Thirty-four percent of children entering kindergarten lack the basic language skills needed to learn how to read, and 71 percent of fourth graders in Washington, D.C.,aren’t reading on grade level.

We see the possibilities and the impact of our work in the children we help. Elisha Demaria is one of those success stories. She recalls, “Reading was my getawayduring a tough childhood. My family never had money to buy books from the school book fairs, but I was able to receive books from RIF.” Elisha credits RIF with her future success and her current career as a textbook manager at New York University.

Reading is the foundation for everything — for knowledge, for discovery, for education, for careers of any kind, as well as for self-esteem and happiness.

Literacy opens doors to life, and RIF will continue our work until every child can read. To learn how you can help, visit


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