If you’re a regular reader of GeekDad, you know that all of us here are huge supporters of reading, and of any program that helps encourage kids to read. So you can imagine our consternation when we learned that the long-running Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) program could see its government funding dry up if the proposed fiscal 2011 federal budget is passed.
RIF has been around for 44 years — longer even than Sesame Street — and its programs of distributing free books to children and other literacy encouragement reach over four million kids every year. Some of these kids — mine included — would read voraciously even without RIF, but many (probably, sadly, a majority) of them would read only the bare minimum necessary for school, if that.
You can help, though! Some members of the House of Representatives are signing a “Dear Colleague” letter to encourage other Congresspeople to reinstate RIF’s funding. The letter closes today, so please check to see if your Representative has signed it already, and, if not, send him or her an email via RIF’s website encouraging him or her to sign it. Even if he or she has, you can also send an email to President Obama and your state’s Senators impressing upon them the importance of RIF’s programs to the country’s children.
Of course, you can also donate money to RIF. Unfortunately, unless your name is “Bill Gates,” RIF will still need federal funding to continue its programs. My Congressman has already signed the letter; how about yours?