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About Us

Reading Is FUNdamental (RIF) Pittsburgh, founded in 1981, is an independent affiliate of Reading Is Fundamental, Inc., the oldest and largest nonprofit children’s and family literacy organization in the United States. Our mission is to provide children with the resources, motivation, and opportunities to develop a life-long love of reading. Our research-based programs work to bridge the local literacy and achievement gaps and aim to spark a life-long passion for reading and learning in the children that we serve.
In 2015, the NCES’ bi-annual “Reading Report,” stated that 31 percent of all fourth graders in the United States cannot read at even the basic level. The report went on to note that children from economically disadvantaged families consistently perform significantly lower than other children in school, especially in reading.
The situation here in Pittsburgh is no different. According to A+ Schools’ 2017 Report to the Community, a significant literacy gap exists for economically disadvantaged students in Pittsburgh, placing thousands of our city’s children at risk of academic failure. This reports shows that nearly 50% of economically disadvantaged children in the Pittsburgh Public Schools’ elementary schools cannot read at grade level.
Reading Is FUNdamental (RIF) Pittsburgh addresses these critical needs in our community by offering consistent, high-quality “pushed-in” literacy and educational programming for more than 21,000 economically disadvantaged children in Pittsburgh and the surrounding communities. In the last year alone, we put more than 100,000 self-selected books into the homes of the children and families that need them the most!