Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and Macy’s have joined together to launch Be Book Smart, RIF’s largest customer supported campaign held at Macy’s stores nationwide. Beginning June 24 – July 31, Macy’s customers can give $3 to help provide a book for a child and get $10 off a purchase of $50. Macy’s will donate 100 percent of every $3 to RIF.
Research shows that in middle-income neighborhoods, the ratio of books per child is 13-to-1. However, in low-income neighborhoods, the ratio dramatically declines to one age-appropriate book for every 300 children[i]. In 2010, RIF provided 15 million books to more than four million underserved children, but government budget cuts have taken their toll on the organization. Federal funding for RIF was not reinstated for fiscal year 2011 and the loss of the federal contract will severely alter access to books for millions of children in this country.
“Be Book Smart comes at a time when RIF truly needs the support of every Macy’s customer,” said Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of RIF. “Macy’s continues to be a generous corporate partner to RIF and we are thankful for their dedication and commitment to helping us provide books to the children who need them most. We know that together we can reach our goal of building a more literate America.”
Since 2004, RIF’s partnership with Macy’s has raised more than $16 million to support children’s literacy through customer-supported fundraising campaigns, in-store events, and volunteer activities. Additionally, Macy’s is the founding sponsor of RIF’s Multicultural Literacy Campaign, a multi-year effort to promote and support early childhood literacy in African American, Hispanic, and American Indian communities—where reading scores are often the lowest.
Last year, Macy’s supported RIF programs that provided 3.6 million free books to more than 1.2 million children and donated 350 multicultural book collections to RIF programs throughout the country. Macy’s is also RIF’s lead partner for volunteer engagement and fosters a spirit of volunteerism in communities nationwide.
“Macy’s is proud to enter our sixth year of partnership with RIF,” said Martine Reardon, executive vice president of marketing of Macy’s. “We are committed to RIF and the millions of children and families the organization serves. Be Book Smart gives us and Macy’s customers an opportunity to give back to local communities by supporting the importance of children’s literacy.”
RIF will host a sweepstakes on Facebook to encourage supporters to share about the Be Book Smart campaign with friends. Each week RIF will provide one winner with a $500 Macy’s gift card. To participate in the sweepstakes, visit www.rif.org/sweeps. No purchase is required to participate in sweepstakes.