From a Reading is Fundamental Press Release:
—Campaign targets parents and caregivers of young children—
WASHINGTON—June 12, 2007—Addressing a persistent gap in minority children reading scores, Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF) today launched the RIF Multicultural Literacy Campaign to promote and support early childhood literacy in African-American, Hispanic, and Native American communities.
RIF's multi-year campaign, supported by Macy's, provides parents and caregivers of children under the age of 5 with new educational resources for building children’s language skills. The campaign includes a number of components: a new early childhood website and educational video available at http://www.rif.org/, both funded under a grant from the Star Schools Program of the U.S. Department of Education; a partnership with the National Black Child Development Institute to conduct literacy workshops; and multicultural book donations for schools. In collaboration with media partners Univision Communications Inc., the leading Spanish-language media company in the U.S., and Radio One, Inc., which owns and/or operates 70 radio stations located in 22 urban markets, RIF will air a public education campaign to begin in August.
"Parents have tremendous impact on how well their children develop language skills in the first five years of life," said Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of RIF, the nation’s largest non-profit children’s literacy organization. "The RIF Multicultural Literacy Campaign reinforces this message and offers parents and caregivers new resources to help them get their children prepared for success with reading and in school."
Reading scores among African-American, Hispanic, and Native American fourth graders significantly lag behind those of white and Asian children. According to the most recent U.S. Department of Education data, 76 percent of white and 73 percent of Asian children score at or above basic reading level compared to 42 percent of African-American, 46 percent of Hispanic and 48 percent of Native American children.
"As a country, we cannot let so many students fall behind," said Claude Mayberry, Jr., founder and CEO of Science Weekly, and chair of the RIF Multicultural Advisory Board. "This RIF campaign is the start of a renewed effort to engage parents, caregivers, community organizations, educators, and corporations in a comprehensive approach to improving literacy outcomes among African-American, Hispanic, and Native American communities."
Check out the RIF main page for background information, tips for educators and parents, and ways to get involved, as well as games, stories and activities to do with your children from birth to age 5 or 6 - 14.
Thanks to Jen Robinson for the link.