Information

RIFSoCal Welcomes Veronica Toyomi Ota New Board Member

Veronica is currently the Interim Choir Director at Marshall Fundamental Secondary School in Pasadena. Music and education are her passion.
 
Veronica received her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Literary and Visual Studies from Tufts University in Boston. There, she had the opportunity to study literature from around the world, focusing on Japanese Literature and culture. She hopes to further her education and pursue a Masters in Education.
 
As a proud product of Pasadena public schools, Veronica is dedicated to improving public education and hopes to someday help develop a curriculum that focuses on the importance of compassionate activism. She believes that improving literacy among children is the first step in making this world a better place.

Macy’s Thanks for Sharing Event Supports RIFSoCal

Macy's is once again supporting RIFSoCal in the Thanks for Sharing Event, running now until December 31, 2016. Receive discounts on your Holiday shopping and provide books for deserving children. Please follow this link for further information and to enroll in the program.

http://www.macys.com/ce/splash/thanks-for-sharing/index?cm_mmc=VanityUrl-_-thanks-_-n-_-n

AMC Cares Charitable Grant Fund Donates $10000 to RIFSoCal

Leawood, Kan. – AMC Theatres is proud to announce Commerce, Calif.-based Reading is Fundamental received $10,000 through the AMC Cares Charitable Grant Fund. During the AMC Cares Charitable Grant Fund Annual Ceremony, AMC announced the 2016 awards for 35 charitable organizations nationwide. This year, AMC donated more than $3.4 million in cash and in-kind donations to charities that support children and youth.

 

America’s oldest and largest child and family literacy organization, Reading is Fundamental of Southern California works with schools, Head Start sites, and community-based organizations to bring literacy resources to disadvantaged children in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Last year, Reading is Fundamental conducted 675 motivational reading events and distributed 170,150 books to 55,475 children at 240 sites. In 2016, Reading is Fundamental is on track to grow by 17 percent, having added more than 9,300 students across the region.

 

This year, AMC asked organizations that support youth and children to visit amctheatres.com/donations and apply for a grant. A group of AMC associates from around the country selected the charities they felt best fit AMC’s goals and values, and allocated the cash from the AMC Cares Charitable Grant Fund and other resources accordingly.

 

About AMC Theatres

AMC (NYSE: AMC) is the guest experience leader with 386 locations and 5,334 screens located primarily in the United States. AMC has propelled innovation in the theatrical exhibition industry and continues today by delivering more comfort and convenience, enhanced food & beverage, greater engagement and loyalty, premium sight & sound, and targeted programming. AMC operates the most productive theatres in the country’s top markets, including No. 1 market share in the top three markets (NY, LA, Chicago). amctheatres.com

Mary Poppins Brings Joy at Whole Foods

It was a great pleasure to meet, talk to and share stories with so many children’s literacy supporters at Whole Foods on Foothill Boulevard in Pasadena on June 9.  We applaud Whole Foods' commitment to the community, and are extraordinarily grateful to have been selected as the nonprofit partner and beneficiary of their 5% Community Day.  What an amazing opportunity to bring awareness and raise valued funds for RIFSoCal.

We invite you to share in this child’s delight as she realizes she won RIFSoCal’s raffle, making this beautiful Mary Poppins book her very own.  Her mom was laughing when she took the picture because it was a feat for her daughter to even hold the book, as it is quite heavy.  And by day’s end she had devoured this huge book, page by page – which I’m certain she will do again and again!

THANK YOU to Whole Foods for their generosity, and to each of you who were able to stop by, shop and help raise $4,176.90 to support our Motivational Reading Program in Pasadena.  These dollars will purchase over 3,000 books for the children we serve - books that are often the first in their home.

RIF HONORED BY CAMPAIGN FOR GRADE-LEVEL READING

We love helping to create a world filled with lifelong book lovers which is why we were so excited to be honored for 50 years of bringing the joy of reading to children and families nationwide by the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. Ralph Smith, managing director for the Campaign, noted how RIF’s commitment to giving children their own new books is a simple yet powerful tool for unlocking a love of learning and setting them on a path to success throughout life (and we nearly blushed).

Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. Ralph Smith, managing director for the Campaign, noted how RIF’s commitment to giving children their own new books is a simple yet powerful tool for unlocking a love of learning and setting them on a path to success throughout life (and we nearly blushed).

The Campaign is a collaborative effort by foundations, nonprofit partners, business leaders, government agencies, states and communities across the nation to ensure that more children in low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career, and active citizenship. Their work focuses on an important predictor of school success and high school graduation—grade-level reading by the end of third grade. This is a critical milestone on a child’s path to high school graduation and success later in life because it marks the transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” Students who have not mastered reading by that time are more likely to drop out of high school and struggle throughout their lives.

That is why starting this summer, RIF is offering matching grants to ten Campaign for Grade-Level Reading sites to implement RIF’s Read for Success program intervention! This evidence-based program incorporates teacher training, high-quality books for both classrooms and personal ownership, and curriculum-aligned activities to improve reading proficiency for young readers who are at risk of losing some of the learning they’ve acquired throughout the school year during the summer months. We are thrilled to bring the Read for Success model to the communities served by the Campaign. Together we can continue influencing the lives of the children through the joy of reading.

I Have Always Been a Reader

I am and have always been a reader. I remember the first book I learned to read, and how in that moment my life was changed forever. As a child, books were my ultimate escape, and I took up residence in those worlds for as long as I could before the reality of life would call me back. My parents and teachers encouraged my reading habit in every way that they could. From this young age until the present day, you can catch me with a book in my hand, purse, backpack or right in front of my nose. I was in the second grade when RIF visited my class. I remember being overjoyed that we would have story time and get to pick out a book to take home as our own, and asked my parents if they would like to come read to my class.

My father was one of the volunteers who came to read to us during story time. To this day, it is one of my favorite memories of my father. I remember after he finished the story and we were picking our books a classmate gushed to me “Carly you’re so lucky your dad came to read to us! He’s cool!” A shy kid, I just smiled, but inside I was prouder than I had ever been of my dad. I chose a beautifully illustrated version of Disney’s “The Jungle Book”. The cover was a spectrum of green jungle foliage (my favorite color) with the characters Mowgli, Baloo, and Sherkan on the cover. There was a stamp on the inside that read “This book belongs to” and I proudly scribbled my name under it when I got back to my class. It was my book now; to sit on my shelf and admire, and forever remind me of such a special day. That book had a place on my bookshelf for many years until recently when I finally decided to pass it onto another child to enjoy as their own.

My penchant for hoarding possessions and information, holding onto all my precious books and reading everything I could get my hands on carried over into my adult life. My personal library has grown to multiple shelves. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in English, and am a Reference Librarian at a local college. Reading is synonymous with my personality. Books are my passion, my profession, my identity. I firmly believe that without individuals and programs like RIF, my passion for books and as result, life path could have taken a different turn. That day where I chose my book and wrote my name inside was one step in many that have led me to be the reader, free thinker, and librarian I am today. I am so happy to be a “RIF Kid” and grateful that the program is still making a difference in children’s lives today. I’ll end with a quote from Children’s Author and literacy advocate Frank Serafini, “There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book.” . Thank you RIF for finding me and other children the right books, it changed my life.

Carly Lamphere
Librarian, Instruction and Reference
Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising

LA Kings’ Tickets Support RIFSoCal

The LA Kings are excited to offer specially discounted tickets to teachers, administrators and supporters of our local schools. To take advantage of this great offer, visit http://www.lakings.com/teacher or contact Nick Sprowls nsprowls@lakings.com/213-742-7164. A portion of all tickets sold will benefit Reading Is Fundamental of Southern California and their efforts to provide children in need with access to and choice of high-quality books and enriching literacy resources. 

UCLA Teams With Coaching for Literacy

LOS ANGELES – The UCLA men’s basketball program has partnered with Coaching for Literacy (CFL) for the second straight season, joining together in the fight against illiteracy through CFL’s Assistant Coach Program.

Coaching for Literacy, a program that helps increase awareness about the number of people in the United States who are not functionally or totally illiterate, leverages the unique power of collegiate and professional sports to raise money for local literacy programs. The organization gears its efforts toward helping educate elementary and middle school students.

“We’re excited to continue our partnership with Coaching for Literacy in the fight against illiteracy,” UCLA head coach Steve Alford said. “We know that this program really helps to make a difference in communities across the nation by providing valuable resources to local schools and youth programs. We’ve seen the problems associated with illiteracy first hand, and it’s important that we help in any way possible to being part of the solution.”

The UCLA men’s basketball program and Coaching for Literacy will partner together on Saturday, Feb. 20, as the Bruins host Colorado in Pauley Pavilion (8 p.m., PT). Reading is Fundamental of Southern California will be the Los Angeles area’s recipient of funds raised from the event at UCLA.

“The partnership we’ve established with UCLA Athletics, head coach Steve Alford and assistant coach Ed Schilling is very impactful in the nationwide Fight for Literacy,” said Andrew Renshaw, co-founder of Coaching for Literacy. “We allocated over $1,500 to Reading is Fundamental of Southern California last year and we plan to give even more this season.”

The concept behind Coaching for Literacy is simple. A monetary donation is made to Coaching for Literacy and in return, two people have the opportunity to be “assistant coaches” at a UCLA basketball game. Premium seating in Pauley Pavilion, floor access to the team’s shootaround and warm-ups, attendance at the postgame press conference, UCLA basketball memorabilia, and gameday apparel provided by CFL partner Peter Millar are some of the perks received by the generous donors. The donation is then reallocated by CFL to its effective literacy partners in Los Angeles – Reading is Fundamental of Southern California (RIFSoCal).

RIFSoCal aims to promote literacy and motivate children to read by building at-home libraries for underserved children in the greater Los Angeles Area.

“Coaching for Literacy’s success highlights the need for continued collaboration to ensure the literacy development and future success of our youth,” said Carol Henault, Executive Director of RIFSoCal. “RIFSoCal is indeed grateful for Coaching for Literacy’s passionate support of our mission to bring new books of choice to children with few books to call their own.”