Our impact

Since 1966, Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) has connected nearly 190 million children with nearly 430 million books and reading resources to put them on a path to reading proficiency—and create an ongoing culture of literacy. Our impact is evidenced by the communities we reach, the lives we touch, and the futures we shape.

kids students huddled together outside with a book

Our 2023 impact

Every year, Reading Is Fundamental connects millions of children with pathways to the skills and stories that they carry with them over a lifetime. See what we’ve accomplished in 2023 alone.


books and reading resources distributed.


children impacted.


RIF is in 9 out of 10 elementary schools.


literacy advocates.

Girl with tote and military dad

Programs that create success stories

Our research-backed programs provide books and reading resources to children in underserved communities, helping to close glaring, cyclical equity gaps. Explore program success stories from our community partners and other literacy champions on the frontlines of the literacy crisis.

An unparalleled national literacy network

RIF’s strong relationships with our partners—educators, families, and literacy advocates and volunteers in 26,000 communities—are critical to rewriting the narrative of the literacy crisis. Our presence in all 50 states, DC, and every U.S. territory means we can reach more children in the nation’s most under-resourced communities. 

More about RIF
RIF volunteer book distribution event with children

This program is a pioneer in children's literacy! It has set the standards other organizations follow and hope to achieve. Its longevity and success are due to its relevancy, insightfulness, and cultural sensitivity to generations of children.

RIF Volunteer

Why reading matters

25 million children can’t read proficiently, and in the wake of the COVID pandemic, U.S. reading scores are at a 30-year low. Reading Is Fundamental and our partners are redoubling our efforts to disrupt this literacy crisis that’s threatening a generation of children.

More on the literacy crisis

The excitement on the children's faces when picking out a book and learning they get to KEEP it is priceless. We put books into the hands of many children who have limited access to literature outside of school. Being a high-poverty school, grant opportunities like this help reduce the equity disparity in access to print at early ages.

Kelly Stengel, Educator, Adams Elementary School
Dollar General Literacy Foundation program participant

The RIF model

Our model inspires the joy of reading in children, putting them on the path to reading proficiency. The joy of reading is a critical complement to the science of reading, as depicted in Scarborough's Reading Rope.

Explore our model
RIF red bookmobile 1980s Reading Is Fundamental history

I loved reading, and I remember being sad that I didn't have more books at home. Reading Is Fundamental was empowering. Being able to take a book home from the RIF bookmobile along with a RIF bookmark was one of the highlights of my school year.

Former RIF Kid
Macy's Volunteer's

How to help

Make a gift that connects children with books that will inspire the joy of reading today, create skilled readers tomorrow, and serve them over a lifetime.

Amplify your impact: Partner with RIF

Reading Is Fundamental has the solutions to put more children on the path to reading proficiency. But we can’t do it without the support of our generous donors, and corporate, institutional, and government partners.

Amazon employee volunteer book distribution event partner