Green Foundation Program Director Attends Mann ES Event!

Program Director Elena Hermanson recently attended “The Gift of Reading”€ Motivational Reading Event at Mann ES, personally experiencing children’s excitement when choosing a new book to keep as their very own.

We sincerely thank The Green Foundation for helping RIFSoCal build a powerful program to support our children’s literacy development. Elena is the second from left.

The Eisner Foundation supports RIFSoCal!

We want our efforts to help children not just temporarily, but enduringly, by giving them the tools to dream and their families the resources to realize those dreams.

~€”Jane Eisner, President

RIFSoCal sincerely thanks The Eisner Foundation for believing, with us, that when you give a child a book you have given them the world!

AKA Sorority Sponsors Event for Children in Inglewood

On November 19, 2011, 35-40 children and their parents enjoyed a day filled with arts and crafts, storytelling, singing songs, puppetry, and creating artwork for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.  This annual event, hosted by Theta Mu Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. at the Inglewood Public Library, concluded with Sorority members reading books to the children, children reading books to the group, and families selecting three books, donated by Reading Is Fundamental of Southern California, to take home to keep for their home library.  Remaining books were donated to the “Hillsides” facility in Pasadena, CA, an agency that shelters foster children and children whose parents are incarcerated.

Even E-Book fans Want Real Books for their Kids

“When you read a book, a proper kid’s book, it engages all the senses. It’s teaching them to turn the page properly. You get the smell of paper, the touch.”  ~Alexandra Tyler

“€œI know I’m a Luddite on this, but there’€™s something very personal about a book and not one of one thousand files on an iPad, something that’s connected and emotional, something I grew up with and that I want them to grow up with,”€  ~Ari Wallach

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Alva Sachs Visits Voorhis School

Aspiring student writers at Voorhis Elementary School recently enjoyed a visit from children’s book author and RIFSoCal Board member, Alva Sachs.  Sachs, the author of On Your Mark Get Set Go, Circus Fever and I’€™m 5, read her stories to the primary students and shared how a book develops from a creative idea into its final published copy.  She then led a writing session with the fourth and fifth graders, explaining story boards, fun titles, colorful and interesting writing and the importance of writing a story with a hook to peak the readers’ interest.
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Sheri Fink promotes RIFSoCal

Sheri Fink, one of our favorite writers and author of The little Rose, recently had the privilege of talking with Tameri Etherton about Reading Is Fundamental of Southern California (RIFSoCal) and how others can help out. You can read the interview on her blog:

May We Present: Osvaldo Lopez

{image_1}RIFSoCal is ever so lucky and ever so proud to welcome - and thank - our new volunteer extraordinaire, Osvaldo Lopez. Osvaldo is one of those rare people who turn their beliefs into action.  And fortunately for RIFSoCal, Osvaldo’s passion parallels our organizational passion to create a world where children have books because literacy is of prime importance. In Osvaldo’s words… “I grew up in a household where no one went to college. Even with community college being an option, my siblings did not pursue a career and were not strong role models for me. Having raised two older children, my parents had few resources to provide for me and they paid little attention to my literacy and education needs. But I wanted to be different.  Despite my family’s expectations and lack of resources, I still want to attend a University. I graduated from Schurr High School and my goal is to be admitted as a transfer to UC Berkeley, one of the world’s top-ranked centers for research and teaching, to establish a career in Sociology. If I am admitted to UC Berkeley, I will be the first in my family to attend a University and pursue a strong career. As a sociologist, I intend to help improve literacy and educational opportunities for children who have a social disadvantage in their community. As a volunteer at RIFSoCal, I feel I have started my career!

Osvaldo is now part of the RIFSoCal family! He comes in several times a week and generously shares his ever so refreshing idealism with us. Bravo, Osvaldo! We depend on your generation to make our world a better place.


CHARITABLE LIVING Group Reinvents the Spirit of RIFSoCal’€™s Historic “BOOKS IN THE PARK!”

It’s 1970 in Santa Fe Springs Park.  Imagine children running off to have fun - and finding Mother Goose playing her harp on the lawn!  Then imagine the children’€™s delight when Mother Goose gathered them into a circle, read them a story and encouraged them to choose a wonderful new book to keep as their very own. “€œBooks in the Park” was the creation of Santa Fe Springs Librarian, Ruth Grams -€“ alias Mother Goose - one of RIFSoCal’s founders.{image_5}

It’s 2011 in North Weddington Park in North Hollywood.  Again imagine children running off to have fun -€“ and finding a clown, a balloon artist/twister creating swords, jet packs and almost anything else a child could dream up, a face painter, music, kids doing the limbo, story time, and a bookmark creation zone.

All to raise awareness and funds for Reading Is Fundamental of Southern California!  {image_3}

Books in the Park’s joyful tradition remained as vibrant and colorful as its 1970 inception thanks to Charitable Living’s belief in the magic of bringing books and children together.{image_1}

What a beautiful way to spend an afternoon - listening to the sound of children giggling as they delighted in the park’s wonderful surprises!


A huge thank you to Charitable Living members and the amazingly talented artists who volunteered their time to ensure the success of €œBooks in the Park€:

Charitable Living members, Kendra Castleberry, Erin Cahill, Jackie Geary Haase, John Curtis, Tymberlee Hill, Todd Sherry, Jen Berthelot, Aimee Parker, Yaani King and Amir Talai

Sean Edwards, balloon artist;

Emily Stuver, face painter

Celedon Wood, dance teacher from Twinkle Toes Dance;

Gigi The Clown; 818-231-7676