Children's literacy nonprofit Reading is Fundamental (RIF) and Macy’s Be Book Smart campaign announced that they have raised enough funds over the past decade to distribute 10 million books to children in disenfranchised communities across America.
Established in 1966, RIF delivers free books and literacy resources to children and families in need. The foundation formed a partnership with Macy’s in 2004, and the retailer’s support for RIF's work to promote children's literacy has exceeded $29.7 million.
In the Be Book Smart campaign, Macy's customers donate $3 toward RIF’s efforts, and Macy's then contributes 100% of the funds raised to the cause.
"At Macy's we care deeply about supporting our local communities and inspiring children nationwide to embrace the joy of reading," said Martine Reardon, Macy's chief marketing officer. "RIF's model is highly effective at ensuring that we reach the children who need us most. We are so proud that together we will have given our 10 millionth book as a result of this long and successful partnership."
In 2010, RIF commissioned a study of the effect of access of print materials on reading performance, spearheaded by Learning Point Associates, a nonprofit education research and consulting organization. The study concluded that children with greater access to print materials showed improvement in reading performance, especially among kindergarten-age students and helped them to develop basic reading skills such as letter and word identification, phonemic awareness, and completion of sentences
"Yet again, all of us at RIF are overwhelmed by the generosity demonstrated by Macy's and its caring customers who helped make this possible," said Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of RIF. "We are extremely fortunate to have had 10 years of support and commitment from Macy's to give millions of children the opportunity to dream big, explore new worlds, and to write their best life stories."