Reading Is Fundamental

This week, we'll take a look at Reading Is Fundamental (or RIF), an organization that reaches out to disadvantaged children to encourage literacy and instill a love of reading.  They accomplish this by providing free reading-related resources to the families most in need across the nation.

a kid reading

The RIF was started in 1966 and holds the title of largest and oldest children's and family nonprofit literacy organization in the U.S.  The U.S. Department of Education is one of the RIF's biggest supporters, along with bases of individuals in communities across the country.  Reading motivation, the excitement of choosing free books to keep, and family and community involvement are the things that drive RIF's success.

Retired teacher Margaret McNamara had the original vision for the RIF.  In 1966, she was tutoring several underprivileged boys in Washington, D.C., and gave them books to take home, and their obvious delight led her to realize that the joy of literacy was something she wanted to help share.  Since then, volunteers have congregated into a fully-fledged non-profit organization supported by the government that is even affiliated with programs in the United Kingdom and Argentina.

The RIF promotes literacy in many ways.  Here is just a sampling of their programs:

-       Books for Ownership (which was once known as the National Book Program) provides children with two to five free books for year.  This program also provides fun activities to show youngsters that reading is both necessary and enjoyable.

-       For the RIF, literacy begins at a young age with their Running Start program, in which first graders must take up the challenge to read 21 books in 8-10 weeks.  The program provides educators and parents with the resources to give the children tangible evidence of their success.

-      Family of Readers encourages shared reading time by teaching parents how to read aloud.

If you want to support the RIF through your garage sale, you can use the giving options page below to figure out how you can best do so.  One of the best ways to support this charity is to learn all about what they do, then hold a sale in their honor and explain to donators just what the RIF accomplishes with youth across the country.

Want to see a specific charity spotlighted here at  Shoot us an email at and let us know!


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