This note provides my strongest endorsement for the Reading Is Fundamental Program (RIF).

I have participated in RIF in Norfolk Elementary Schools for 6 years (2007-2013). I have seen the positive effects of this effort on both sides of the equation - the community volunteers who read, and the students who listen. Most of my RIF time has been spent as a coordinator and reader at James Monroe Elementary.  From the perspective of the children, I have observed that their time being read to is almost magical for them. Most of these children do not have the rich reading environment in their homes that I was accustomed to when growing up. So this opportunity to have outsiders from the community spend time reading is an important way of showing them that READING IS REALLY IMPORTANT in our lives.

From the perspective of the readers: I have rarely gotten any reaction less than, "That was wonderful, I so enjoyed interacting with the children. May I come back and do it again?" This is a chance for everyday citizens to do what they rarely do - see and participate in the inner workings and hidden mechanisms of public elementary schools, and contribute to the growth of our city's future citizen-leaders. RIF is a win-win-win for all concerned: Community Readers, Faculty, and Students. Any program that encourages and enhances reading skills in lower income children is an investment that pays itself off tenfold and more in the long run.

-Brad McDonald
The Literacy Partnership  |  P.O. Box 99043  |  Norfolk, VA 23509
Read to WORK.  Read to LIVE.  Read to PLAY.
The Literacy Partnership is the regional organization that participates in Reading Is Fundamental, Inc., a national organization that prepares and motivates children to read by delivering free books and literacy resources to those children and families who do not have sufficient access or resources to obtain them.  Through multiple partnerships, we are able to distribute books to schools, library family programs, children receiving health assistance, homeless shelters and reading outreach events held in economically at risk areas of Norfolk. In the 2015 school year The Literacy Partnership is expected to distribute over 8,000 books to school children between the Pre-K and 3rd grade levels at no cost to them, their school or their families.  We are also able, with the help of our volunteers from civic groups, corporate employees, business owners and involved citizns to read to the students in the programs multiple times per year.
The Literacy Partnership participates in partnership with members of the Norfolk Public Library, Barnes & Noble at TCC, and Norfolk State University.