News Releases

Reading Is Fundamental Receives $51,000 from The Sallie Mae Fund to Increase Access to Books for 15,000 At-Risk Children

The Sallie Mae Fund promotes employee volunteering campaign

WASHINGTON, Oct. 15, 2009 — Today Reading Is Fundamental announced a $51,000 donation from The Sallie Mae Fund to support RIF's work in motivating young children to read. The grant provides support for programs to help make reading a fun and beneficial part of everyday life for kids, their parents, and communities in 18 sites in 10 states.

RIF has also named The Sallie Mae Fund "Donor of the Month" for October 2009. For nearly 20 years, The Sallie Mae Fund has supported RIF programs with grants totaling more than $1 million. In addition, Sallie Mae employees have given thousands of volunteer hours in the communities where they live and work. Since 2001, The Sallie Mae Fund has donated more than 164,000 books through RIF's book distribution program.

"RIF is grateful to The Sallie Mae Fund for its support of our mission since 2001, and for its strong commitment to give back to the community," said RIF President and CEO Carol H. Rasco. "The Fund helps provide assistance for many RIF programs around the country and also hosts a strong employee volunteering program."

This year, The Sallie Mae Fund, joined by teams of volunteers of Sallie Mae employees, has expanded its support to help Reading Is Fundamental programs operate in six additional communities where employees live and work:

  • Newark, Del. – Joseph M. McVey Elementary PTA in Newark, Del., and Carrie Downie Elementary School in New Castle, Del.
  • Fishers, Ind – Indianapolis American Red Cross in Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Muncie, Ind. – Tenth Street Elementary School in Muncie, Ind.
  • Moorestown, N.J. – Lindenwold Board of Education in Lindenwold, N.J.
  • Perry, N.Y. – Cattaraugus Wyoming Head Start in Olean, N.Y.
  • Cincinnati, Ohio &ndashRothenberg Preparatory Academy in Cincinnati, Ohio.;

The Sallie Mae Fund is also renewing its support of the following RIF programs:

  • Lynn Haven, Fla. – Hiland Park Elementary School and Anchorage Children's Home in Panama City, Fla.
  • Newton, Mass. – Ludwig van Beethoven Elementary School in West Roxbury, Mass.
  • Arcade, N.Y. – Delevan Elementary School in Delevan, N.Y.
  • Horseheads, N.Y. – Lindley Presho Elementary School in Painted Post, N.Y.
  • Hanover Twp., Pa. – Hanover Area School District in Hanover Twp., Pa.
  • Killeen, Texas – Killeen Independent School District in Killeen, Texas and Copperas Cove Independent School District in Copperas Cove, Texas.
  • Reston, Va. –Dogwood Elementary School, Forest Edge Elementary School, and the Laurel Learning Center in Reston, Va.

"We know that reading is one of the most important skills a child can develop on the road toward a lifetime of success," said Albert L. Lord, vice chairman and CEO, Sallie Mae. "Joining Reading Is Fundamental to foster a love of reading among America's children goes hand in hand with The Fund's mission to increase access to higher education."


The Sallie Mae Fund, a charitable organization sponsored by Sallie Mae, achieves its mission — to increase access to a postsecondary education for America's students — by supporting programs and initiatives that help open doors to higher education, preparing families for their investment, and bridging the gap when no one else can. For more information, visit

About RIF Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF), founded in 1966, motivates children to read by working with them, their parents, and community members to make reading a fun and beneficial part of everyday life. RIF's highest priority is reaching underserved children from birth to age 8. Through community volunteers in every state and U.S. territory, RIF provides 4.5 million children with 16 million new, free books and literacy resources each year. For more information, and to access reading resources, visit RIF's website at