From the CEO's Desk
If you are like me, you say the same thing every year when Thanksgiving rolls around – “can you believe it is already Thanksgiving?” As my husband likes to remind me, it comes at the same time every year! Once I get my arms around how quickly time passes and how much changes in the course of one short year, I am seized with the excitement and optimism that the holiday season brings.
For me, Thanksgiving kicks off a wonderful time each year when we reflect with family and friends on our past and our hopes for the future. Each year brings ups and downs but I believe the magic of the holiday season – and the American spirit – is that we inherently believe that things can be better. No matter how much change we might experience, we believe we can create change for ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities with commitment and hard work. That has certainly been the case this past year here at Reading Is Fundamental. We have gone through a lot of change, experienced some ups and downs (because change is hard!), and impacted over one million children nationwide with the life-changing power of literacy.
Reading is the necessary foundation for all children that puts them on the pathway for success. Every child deserves an opportunity to own books, learn how to read, and obtain the fundamental building blocks needed to achieve their highest potential. With only 37% of high school graduates reading at or above proficiency, our work is more necessary than ever and, as I reflect on our efforts in 2017, I am optimistic that we can change this outcome for students by providing them with the gift of literacy to support them on life’s journey.
This year, we challenged ourselves to find the ways to reach children where they are today. In addition to supporting children with books, we launched new digital platforms RIF.org, Literacy Central and Literacy Network to engage digital natives with multiplatform solutions all designed to create a culture of literacy and provide them, their parents, educators and caregivers with the tools they need to ensure every child has the opportunities that literacy provides.
In response to the devastating hurricanes that hit this year, we mobilized quickly, donating books and literacy resources to those impacted in the wake of natural disasters. This intervention helped foster a sense of normalcy and hope for those who lost their homes, schools and safety.
By giving the gift of literacy, we offer hope for the future to every child we serve. We do this in partnership with all of you because, together, we can create change and ensure every child can read and succeed! Thank you for joining us and, from my family to yours, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!