Reading is Fundamental
Reading is Fundamental/RIF is the largest children's literacy non-profit program in the United States. RIF believes every child deserves an opportunity to own books, learn how to read, and obtain the fundamental building blocks to achieve their highest potential. Literacy opens doors and enables every child the chance to live their own journey.
Soror Patricia McKinney Lewis wrote the first project proposal for RIF. The Epsilon Epsilon Omega Chapter received the first grant to help fund the RIF program in June 1980. The total amount for the first year was $400. The grant provided $300 and the chapter was responsible for $100 to purchase books for the summer project.After approval by the National Reading is Fundamental organization the grant was funded, also with supplying matching funds. During the first year, the Chapter committee distributed books at three Champaign Park District summer camps: Centennial, Spalding and Douglass. The second year, permission was granted to change the distribution sites to: Douglass Center Day Camp, Douglass Branch Library, Girls’ Club in Urbana and Boys’ Club in Champaign. After Girls’ Club closed, and the Douglass Branch Library moved, the sites for many years were the Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club, Douglass Day Camp, Mount Olive Baptist church and St. Luke CME Church. In recent years, book distributions and read-ins in conjunction with National African American Read-In Day have been held at the Laura Lee Fellowship House in Danville, Canaan Baptist Church in Urbana, The Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center, and Jettie Rhodes Day.