Below is Kevin Howell's blog entry in Publishers Weekly. Thank God Jackie Speirs has joined Congress. I'd like to present her, and Nancy Pelosi, with a petition,, signed by authors, to protect this much-needed program. If you agree, please add a comment, and your name, in the comment box for this post.
Reading isn't a priviledge, it's a right,
author IMPOSSIBLY TONGUE-TIED
Kevin Howell / Publishers Weekly
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President Bush’s proposed 2009 budget eliminates all the funding for Reading Is Fundamental’s book distribution program that has, since 1966, provided books to underprivileged children.
According to RIF CEO/president Carol Rasco, if Bush’s budget is approved, 4.6 million children will not receive 16 million free books in 2009. RIF has been funded by Congress and six Administrations without interruption since 1975. It is the oldest and largest children’s and family nonprofit literacy organization in the U.S.
Want to voice your concerns and opinions to those who can do something about this? RIF’s Web site will find your senator and representative and provides a letter of support (that can be amended with your own comments) that will be sent to Bush, your senator and representative. You can also find out which senators and representatives signed a letter supporting appropriations for RIF.
According to the New York Daily News, last year, RIF collected less than $7 million in private donations. The group would have to raise an additional $26 million to replace the federal funds.