Reading Is Fundamental Pittsburgh

Rating: 4.17 stars   6 reviews

Issues: Education

Location: 10 Children's Way Suite 300 Pittsburgh PA 15212 USA

Mission: Founded in 1981, Reading Is FUNdamental (RIF) Pittsburgh''s mission is to provide children with the resources, motivation and opportunities to develop a life-long love of reading.
Target demographics: We serve children from PreK-6th grade in Pittsburgh and the surrounding communities.
Geographic areas served: Allegheny County
Programs: Books for Keeps Program – Our largest program, Books for Keeps, provides more than 60,000 new, self-selected books to over 20,000 children, making us one of the five largest RIF affiliates in the country. Children at over 100 different schools, preschools, community centers, and after school programs participate in Reading Celebrations where they select a new, age-appropriate book, 3-5 times per year, throughout their elementary school years to take home and to keep for their very own. Our Reading Celebrations engage children in interactive activities centered on favorite children’s books, designed to emphasize the importance of reading while showing that it can be FUN! Choosing a brand-new book to keep helps create pride in book ownership and motivates children to learn to love to read. This year RIF Pittsburgh held over 1500 Reading Celebrations! Customized Books for Keeps Math and Science Programs – RIF Pittsburgh has partnered with both the PNC Foundation Grow Up Great program, the Bayer USA Foundation and the PPG Industries Foundation to create customized Books For Keeps programs to help increase science and math opportunities available to young children. Research indicates that combining reading activities with math and science instruction can open up new possibilities for learning. “The best way to promote science literacy is to expose students to a variety of books” (Gilson and Cherry, “Science in the Preschool Classroom,” 2002). Through specialized Reading Celebrations that combine storytelling, math activities, and interactive science projects, children will experience reading, math and science together in a connected and meaningful way. By tailoring our Reading Celebrations to engage children in hands-on math and science activities, we aim to give children the basic tools of exploration and discovery that will help prepare them to succeed academically, to open up new worlds of discovery, and build the foundations of a life-long love of learning. Read to your Family Program – This program is designed to engage parents and caregivers in their children’s reading development and encourage children to become proficient readers. Families have the opportunity to share in the excitement of reading a book together, which strengthens the learning experience in the home. Children receive recognition from teachers and principals, such as a special gold star on their classroom wall, each time they read a book aloud with a family member. This program also provides incentives for students to reach the Pittsburgh Public Schools’ 25 book reading goal, including educational games, books, or gift certificates to local book stores. Through family engagement, school recognition, and a system of incentives, this program emphasizes the importance of good literacy to families, while adding another layer of reading motivation for children. Last year, over 5,300 stories were shared as part of this program! Everybody Wins! – Everybody Wins! is a lunchtime literacy and mentoring program that pairs elementary school students with volunteers from local companies and other community organizations to share lunch, conversation, and good books. Founded in New York City in 1991, and brought to Pittsburgh in 2002, Everybody Wins! is a national organization that recognizes the many benefits of reading aloud to children one-on-one. Each week, during lunchtime, Everybody Wins! students and their community mentors, called Reading Buddies, are invited to read together. Students look forward to spending time with their reading mentor each week, and benefit from the encouragement of a caring adult, while mentors enjoy imparting their interest in literature to their student. Throughout the year, Reading Buddies encourage their students to discuss books at home with their families, and at the conclusion of each school year, parents, families, mentors and students come together to celebrate the students’ accomplishments. According to Beginning with Books, in the 2009-2010 school year, students at Pittsburgh Weil, King, and Phillips read over 3,300 books with their reading mentors! Storymobile – Storymobiles are libraries-on-wheels; bringing stories, activities, books, and parenting resources to public housing communities and childcare homes and centers throughout the greater Pittsburgh region. The visits are designed to promote and support reading and literacy-based activities for children and their families. Children can borrow from a diverse selection of age-appropriate, high quality books. The Storymobiles loan thousands of books annually to children, parents, and teachers.
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EIN 25-1558336
412-321-8022
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I'm so thankful that RIF took over the Everybody Wins! program when Beginning with Books went under. I started two years ago and I'm glad I can continue to make strides with my reading buddy from last year. I think that RIF has added great resources for the mentors to cultivate their relationship with the student, which is really half of what the program is all about!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing how to effectively engage a student. I'm also learning that the reading, while important, is not the most important part of this relationship. It's the trust that we build, and from that trust, increased literacy can come, along with confidence and a number of other personal benefits. I learn so much from the student as well!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get more build up to the program, I forgot to invite my coworkers to join!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

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Rating: 4 stars  

21 people found this review helpful

we have worked with RIF for the past 3 years and have had a very successful collaboration, getting books into the hands of needy kids and promoting childhood literacy. RIF Pittsburgh has been supportive and we are committed to helping their mission.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

our community, our patients

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

books/grant support

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

helpful, supportive

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

get more books to more kids and provide more services

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007-10-01

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Rating: 4 stars  

19 people found this review helpful

One of the greatest strengths of RIF Pittsburgh is the organization's commitment to individualized service. The populations being served are taken into consideration, and teachers working with the students daily are asked for input on the types of books ordered and distributed. In this way, schools with high minority populations are given books by African-American authors. By the same token, schools working to boost their reading scores are able to request non-fiction books. It is this acknowledgement of varying needs that enables RIF Pittsburgh to make a significant impact on the lives of children in collaboration with their partners!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The enthusiasm of the children and teachers the group works with year after year.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

I feel that we are promoting reading among students who need the extra support.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Extraordinary individuals with a heart for children and service.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

promote literacy in even more children.

Ways to make it better...

RIF Pittsburgh had the resources to help even more children!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007-10-01

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Rating: 3 stars  

20 people found this review helpful

RIF Pittsburgh is a great organization fostering lifelong readers by giving children books three times a school year. My school is a distribution site this year and we are very excited about receiving our books. This organization provides books for students who may not have had book ownership before. This year volunteers will visit each site to support the book distribution by doing an activity with a classroom.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I am extremely proud to be an RIF Pittsburgh distribution site coordinator.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007-10-01

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