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.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 22,000 children and families
Geographic areas served: Allegheny County
Programs: Our research-based programs work to bridge the local literacy and achievement gaps and aim to spark a life-long passion for reading and learning in the children that we serve.
Our Books for Keeps program engages children in 3-5 Reading Celebrations each year, where they participate in a fun, motivational activity and get to select a book of their very own to take home and keep, and our Books for Keeps “Math and Science” program takes advantage of the integrative nature of reading by weaving hands-on math and science experiments into our Reading Celebrations. Our Family Engagement programs work to introduce good literacy practices into the home and provide incentives and recognition for children and families to read together.
Everybody Wins! is a lunchtime literacy and mentoring program that pairs corporate and community volunteers with first, second, and third graders to read one-on-one each week during lunchtime. The Storymobiles are libraries-on-wheels that deliver books and literacy resources to early childhood centers, pre-K and kindergarten classrooms, afterschool programs, and public housing communities across our city. Each year, we reach over 22,000 children and families in our local community and put more than 103,000 self-selected books into the homes that need it most.
RIF Pittsburgh is armed with an arsenal of services that allows us to effectively tackle the literacy challenges that our community faces. Our goal is to ensure that all of our programs work in tandem, building upon each other to create a web of services aimed at mitigating the literacy gap. We will continue to saturate targeted neighborhoods with as many of our programs as possible, creating an environment that will enable a child to be exposed to RIF programs from birth into their teens.
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!
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.
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!
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.