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Encyclopedia > Reading Is Fundamental

In 1966, former teacher and Alpha Phi alumna Margaret McNamara brought a bag of used books to four boys in Washington, D.C., whom she tutored in reading. When she told the children they could each pick out a book to keep, their astonishment and delight led her to discover that these children, and many of their classmates, had never owned any books. By that summer, McNamara had gathered a group of school volunteers, and on November 3, 1966, they launched the book distribution and reading motivation program they called Reading Is Fundamental. From November 1966 through the early 1970s, RIF expanded from a pilot project at three elementary schools in Washington, D.C., to a program reaching children in 60 of the city's public schools. In 1975, the U.S. Congress created the "Inexpensive Book Distribution Program" (IBDP) which provides federal matching funds to sites that qualify for RIF's national book program. Today, through its contract with the U.S. Department of Education and with private funds, RIF provides 16 million free books for children to choose and keep each year. RIF programs operate in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. RIF is also affiliated with programs in Argentina and the United Kingdom. It achieves high visibility through public service announcements on children's television programs. Its mascot is Riffington, who debuted in 2002. 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1966 calendar). ... Alpha Phi (ΑΦ) is a fraternity for women founded at Syracuse University on September 30, 1872. ... Margaret McNamara, attended University of California at Berkeley where she was a member of the Alpha Phi sorority. ... Nickname: DC, The District Motto: Justitia Omnibus (Justice for All) Location of Washington, D.C. in relation to the states Maryland and Virginia. ... 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday. ... The Congress of the United States is the legislative branch of the federal government of the United States of America. ... The United States Department of Education was created in 1979 (by PL 96-88) as a Cabinet-level department of the United States government, and began operating in 1980. ... A public service announcement or PSA is a non-commercial advertisement—typically on U.S. or Canadian radio or television, broadcast for the public good. ... Childrens television shows are television programs designed for and marketed to children, normally aired during the morning and afternoon hours, mainly before and after school. ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ...

Lynda Bird Johnson Robb served chairman of the board of Reading Is Fundamental from 1996 to 2001. She continues to serve the organization as Chairman emerita. Robb is also an alumna of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. Lynda Bird Johnson Robb, born March 19, 1944, is the older of the two daughters of Lyndon Baines Johnson and his wife Lady Bird Johnson. ... Zeta Tau Alpha (ΖΤΑ) is a sorority, founded October 15, 1898 at what used to be the Normal School for Girls but is now known as Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. ...

Reading Is Fundamental is the first-ever national philanthropy for Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, announced in 2004. Kappa Kappa Gamma (ΚΚΓ) is a college womens fraternity, founded on October 13, 1870 at Monmouth College, Illinois. ...

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