Based at The National Literacy Trust, Swire House. 59 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6AJ
(tel: 0171 828 2435; fax: 0171 931 9986)
A non-profit organisation (core sponsor Tate & Lyle PLC) that seeks to inspire children to become strong, motivated readers, particularly in areas where children have little or no access to books. RIF aims to ‘create a book-using culture and positive attitudes to lifelong learning within families where there is a pattern of underachievement in literacy.
Founded in the USA in 1966, RIF works by setting up local projects in both school and non-school locations where poverty of aspiration and low self-expectation are endemic. Each local project works with a number of children and young people iin the 0-19 age range. Books are given free to children and visits from authors and illustrators arranged. Events and activities aim to motivate family reading. There is an emphasis on the fun and pleasure of reading as well as on the fundamental skills. RIF publishes a number of support materials for its projects
So far 260 projects have been established across the UK and 35,000 new books distributed. Initial evaluation indicates that RIF represents the only source of books that many children have in their own; it increases the amount of time children spend reading at home and with their families and it leads to greater involvement of parents in their children’s reading habits and book choices.