In support of providing books and reading resources to children living in our nation’s most under-resourced communities, Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and Macy’s announced that over $1.5 million was raised last month as part of Macy’s Mission Every One social purpose initiative, which included an in-store round-up and online donation campaign to support student literacy across the country. Funds raised during the campaign will support RIF’s Race, Equity and Inclusion work providing diverse books and reading resources to underserved communities in an effort to help close the literacy gap, while also supporting RIF’s second annual reading initiative, Rally to Read 100.
For 18 years, Reading Is Fundamental, the nation’s preeminent children’s literacy organization, has partnered with Macy’s to foster a love of reading and learning. Macy’s long-standing partnership has resulted in a total contribution of more than $46 million toward children’s literacy, the distribution of almost 15 million books and the creation of more than 20,000 supplemental literacy resources and tools offered free to all children at RIF.org/Literacy-Central.
“Literacy is the very foundation of learning, and we are grateful to work with an organization that puts giving back as a core pillar of its values and prioritizes children’s literacy,” said Alicia Levi, President and CEO of Reading Is Fundamental. “Through Macy’s generous donations, Reading Is Fundamental can continue to supply meaningful reading resources to children, educators and families. This is especially important as we strive to combat the many learning losses created by the pandemic, which only deepened the literacy gap in our most under-resourced communities.”
“One of the goals of Macy’s social purpose platform, Mission Every One, is to empower youth and to create a brighter future with bold representation for all. A core pillar of this initiative is our aim to provide young people with opportunities to learn, dream and create a successful future without boundaries. RIF is a critical partner in Macy’s achieving this vision,” said Sam DiScipio, Senior Director, Corporate Communications – Giving & Volunteerism at Macy’s. “Macy’s has partnered with RIF for 18 years now and in 2020 was a founding partner of their Race, Equity and Inclusion Initiative. Through our partnership with RIF, we are not only providing open access to resources and books to youth from underrepresented communities, but ensuring that those books serve as mirrors and windows; they are full of characters that look like them, written by authors they look up to, and enable them to re-discover their joy of reading and charting their paths to a bright future.”
RIF is also thrilled this year to have the support of a schoolteacher turned actor, musician, two-time national poetry slam champion, entrepreneur, and Grammy-nominated poetic voice, Sekou Andrews. To support this month-long campaign, Sekou created five short poet voice videos as seen on the campaign sitelet and Macy’s TikTok channel, that powerfully conveyed the importance of reading and books on empowering children to have brighter futures.
RIF is appreciative of Macy’s once again choosing literacy as part of this campaign, and was honored to have won the 2022 Gold Halo Award with Macy’s in the Best Education Initiative category for the Back-to-School Round-up Campaign, a similar campaign that took place in August 2021. The Halo Awards are North America’s highest honor for corporate social impact initiatives that showcase outstanding consumer engagement or employee engagement efforts.