READING IS FUNDAMENTAL LAUNCHES THIRD ANNUAL NATIONWIDE READING ENGAGEMENT INITIATIVE “RALLY TO READ 100”

It’s Back! Celebrate reading for six months straight with sweepstakes, monthly themes, reading activities, and read-alouds from bestselling authors. 

WASHINGTON, Oct. 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation’s leading children’s literacy nonprofit, announced today the launch of the third annual Rally to Read 100 (RallytoRead.org)—a six-month initiative that runs from October 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024 that is designed to inspire the joy of reading and motivate children to read, starting with a pledge to read 100 books. 

Building on the success of last year’s event, in which over 800,000 books were pledged to be read, RIF will once again unite classrooms and communities across the country with a reading initiative anchored on monthly themes and supported with a diverse lineup of author read-alouds. There will also be a book collection sweepstakes, a variety of engaging reading activities for the home and school (some of which are in Spanish), plus a live virtual event hosted at a New York Barnes & Noble to celebrate Read Across America Day in March 2024. All of the free literacy resources and activities are available at RallytoRead.org.

  • With 67 percent of fourth graders reading below grade level, according to the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results, RIF is working to reinvigorate reading across our nation’s youth. The 2023-2024 Rally to Read 100 program kicks off with a special welcome video from Beth Lincoln, author of The SWIFTS, recipient of the 2023 Barnes & Noble Book Children’s & YA Book Award, and is supported by Inspiration Partners: Barnes & Noble, Macy’s, and Nellie Mae Education Foundation. 

Each month during the six-month campaign, a featured read-aloud from exclusive publishing partner Penguin Random House and specially selected Barnes & Noble Storytime Picks will be shared from notable and diverse authors and illustrators, including Peter H. Reynolds (“All You Need Is Love and a really soft pillow”), Jason Reynolds (“There Was a Party for Langston”), Misty Copeland (“Bunheads”), and Elizabeth Olsen and Robbie Arnett (“Hattie Harmony: Worry Detective”). For elementary school classrooms and libraries, RIF is bringing back the Rally to Read book sweepstakes, giving away 10,000 diverse books in which elementary school educators have the chance to win 100 high-quality books for their school or youth-serving organization. 

“Literacy is a critical element not only for our students’ educational development and success, but to our understanding of the world around us and ourselves. Through Rally to Read, we are creating fun ways for children to discover the eye-opening experiences that reading different stories from a variety of perspectives can provide,” said Reading Is Fundamental President and CEO Alicia Levi. “We were thrilled by the response that last year’s initiative garnered. And thanks to partners including Barnes & Noble, Macy’s and Nellie Mae Education Foundation, as well as impressive storytellers and advocates that are joining us this year, we are proud to continue this important effort.”

“Barnes & Noble is excited to once again partner with Reading Is Fundamental and unite forces for this year’s Rally to Read 100 campaign,” said Jackie De Leo, Chief Merchandising Officer, Barnes & Noble. “Together we share a mutual dedication to children’s literacy and developing a love of literature. We cannot wait to see the impact of this year’s initiative in classrooms across the country and young readers nationwide.”

“Throughout our 20-yearlong partnership, Macy’s and Reading Is Fundamental have been able to provide access to critical resources and books to youth in underserved communities across the nation to ensure that every child has the opportunity to learn and develop a love for reading,” said Sam Di Scipio, Macy’s, Inc. Senior Director, Social Impact. “Through collaborative initiatives like Rally to Read and our social purpose platform, Mission Every One, we look forward to empowering youth and creating brighter futures with bold representation for all.

RALLY TO READ 100 PROGRAM ELEMENTS: 

  • Pledge to Read 100 Books: Participants can pledge to read 100 books over six months and receive engaging content and book recommendations to support this goal. 
  • Book Sweepstakes: 100 randomly selected eligible educators will each win 100 specially curated diverse books donated by Barnes & Noble to enhance their school’s library and classrooms.
  • Monthly-Themed Events: Each month features topics ranging from community and inquiry to wellness and culture with activities for fun, engaging time spent exploring books; companion activities; and video-recorded read-alouds by noteworthy authors and illustrators, many who are sharing recently released new books.
  • Featured read-alouds from Penguin Random House and Barnes & Noble Storytime Picks include:

             October (Community): 

Ben Gundersheimer (MISTER G), Author of We’ll Make Things Better Together
Peter Cheong, Author and Illustrator of Every Night At Midnight

November (Culture)

Vanessa Brantley-Newton, Author and Illustrator of Nesting Dolls
Jason Reynolds, Author of There Was a Party for Langston

December (Changemakers) 

Misty Copeland, Author of Bunheads
Angela DiTerlizzi, Author of The Magical Yet

January (Wellness) 

Elizabeth Olsen & Robbie Arnett, Authors of Hattie Harmony: Worry Detective
Drew Beckmeyer, Author and Illustrator of I am a Tornado

February (Compassion)

Brad Meltzer, Author of I am Mr. Rogers, the 32nd hero in the New York Times bestselling Ordinary People Change the World series
Henry Rocket Reynolds & Peter H. Reynolds, Authors (and Illustrator) of All You Need Is Love and a really soft pillow

March (Inquiry)

Sheryl Haft, Author of Mazie’s Amazing Machines
Kobi Yamada, Author of Noticing

  • Complementary Reading Activities: Classroom and at-home resources are available for educators and families to use for continued reading engagement throughout the program, any time.

READ ACROSS AMERICA DAY CELEBRATION EVENT: 

The nationwide, online event will be simulcasted from a New York City Barnes & Noble in March 2024 with a high-profile host and guests (to be announced) and live streamed to homes and classrooms across the country.

Reading Is Fundamental is proud to recognize the generous support of its partners: Inspiration Partners include Barnes & Noble, Macy’s and Nellie Mae Education Foundation; and Promotional Partners include Children’s Book Council, Coalition for Literacy Equity, Every Child a Reader, Kiwanis International, Little Free Library, National PTA, Penguin Random House, Reading Partners, and United Through Reading.

About Reading Is Fundamental

Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) is committed to creating a nation of lifelong readers by inspiring the joy of reading among all children, putting them on the path to becoming skilled readers. We provide free, high-quality content to engage children, educators, families, and literacy advocates in the solution to the U.S. literacy crisis—so that every child has the fundamentals for success. As the nation’s leading children’s literacy nonprofit, RIF has provided nearly 430 million books and reading resources to over 160 million children since 1966, impacting generations of children. Explore our results and learn more about partnering with us at www.RIF.org.

SOURCE Reading Is Fundamental

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