Americans called to log time spent reading with kids to raise awareness for children's literacy

Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation's oldest and largest children and families' literacy nonprofit organization, is proud to take part in United We Serve's Education Week (July 27-August 2) -- a week-long focus on the countless Americans who strengthen communities by rolling up their sleeves to have a positive impact on children through education-based volunteer activities.

"One of the greatest services we can provide our communities is to ensure that all children obtain access to books and discover the joy and value of reading," said RIF President and CEO Carol H. Rasco. "RIF is honored to work with tens of thousands of committed volunteers across the country to raise literacy levels in their communities."

To further raise awareness about the importance of literacy and its long-term impact on the economy, RIF is challenging all Americans to collectively log 3 million minutes of reading with children by September 11, 2009, on the Read for Change website: At the end of the challenge, RIF will select five participants to receive a children's multicultural book collection as well as the opportunity to select a school in their community to receive a book collection.

Each day of Education Week, RIF will also showcase inspiring stories of its volunteers on RIF's President and CEO blog, "We invite Americans to join the movement to increase literacy across the country by picking up a book and reading to a child in their life or by spreading the joy of reading through volunteering," adds Rasco. Statistics show that nearly two-thirds of low-income families own no books for their children. RIF has provided families access to books and reading materials since 1966, by providing volunteers with the resources to distribute 16 million free books to 4.5 million children each year.

For more information about United We Serve and other volunteer opportunities in your community, visit