What is Reading is Fundamental?
Young children go through a methodical journey when learning how to read. First comes the introduction to language through the sounds of parents and caregivers and then eventually children start to speak their first words and later, sentences. This is called emerging literacy and it is the foundation of all literacy. The emerging literacy phase is followed by the simultaneous development of reading and writing skills. Access to reading materials and exercises is critical during this time. Reading is Fundamental (RIF) is one organization that supports access by providing books and lessons to aide children in their literacy journey.
Built to provide education and resources, RIF mobilizes materials, volunteers, and community organizations with the fundamental belief that every child can read and has the right to support. At present, RIF has distributed “over 422 million books and impacted the lives of more than 100 million children in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.” RIF also provides online resources in addition to the physical books they’ve distributed, with an extensive free digital library with books, lessons, videos, and games.
Who is Reading is Fundamental for?
RIF is for everyone. Their online resources are available to parents and teachers alike, and their programs are utilized by libraries, Head Start and more programs across the country. You can find both parent and teacher resources on their website. Content includes:
- Books based on age or grade level
- Supplemental materials like videos and coloring pages
- Downloadable activities and reading logs to help motivate children to read more
- Explanations of the basic ways children learn to read
- Suggestions on how to best help your child
- Free Pre-K lesson plans and printable guides to encourage comprehension and reflection
- Daily calendars with built in links to corresponding activity and book support resources
- “Reading Rocket Resources for Educators” provides skills articles and workshops
Reading is Fundamental Tools
RIF offers various ways to utilize their materials including online and app-based resources. Here are three methods of support for parents and teachers.
- Reading is Fundamental Skybrary
- The Skybrary app is created for children ages 2-9 to navigate their own reading experience with e-books and animation. The purpose of the app is to encourage frequent reading and ultimately a lifetime enjoyment of books.
- Literacy Central
- The Reading is Fundamental digital library is full of stories, activities, and teaching strategies. The stories range from classics to current essential topics like sustainable futures and race, equity, and inclusion.
- Literacy Central App
- If you are wanting to dive deeper into a favorite book, this app lets you scan the barcode of the book to connect with free supplemental digital resources.
Make Reading Fun from the start
Reading begins with play! When children are small, they naturally participate in behaviors and initiate activities that become the foundation for reading. And while they may not be requesting their favorite books yet, their very first years are a time for song, make-believe, storytelling, hands on crafts, matching and pattern games. There is no shortage of ideas when it comes to building emerging literacy skills so happy reading, and the beginnings thereof!
Learn more about early literacy
Read up on supporting language development
How to introduce toddlers and babies to books