WASHINGTON, DC – The 2009 Book A Brighter Future campaign, a national partnership between Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and Macy’s to raise awareness and support of children’s literacy, has raised $6.5 million for RIF thanks to the generosity of more than 2 million Macy’s customers and employees.

Since 2006, this campaign has taken place at Macy’s stores during the back-to-school season to help raise money for local RIF programs and to provide reading resources to the children who need them most. The campaign provides an opportunity for Macy’s customers to join the effort and have an impact on literacy in their community. By giving $3, they received a coupon for $10 off a $50 in-store purchase, and Macy’s donated 100 percent of every $3 to RIF.

For every $3 RIF receives through this campaign, $1 supports local RIF programs near the Macy’s store where the coupon was purchased, $1 supports RIF’s Multicultural Literacy Campaign, and $1 helps RIF’s ongoing efforts to provide reading resources to millions of underserved children across the country.

“Our partnership with Macy’s has had a profound impact on RIF’s mission,” said RIF President and CEO, Carol H. Rasco. “To date, Macy’s has helped provide over 3 million books to 1.2 million kids and has donated 750 hardcover multicultural book collections to schools, Head Start centers, and libraries in every state and U.S. territory. This additional support will help us reach even more children.”

Thanks to Macy’s, RIF has been able to expand its Multicultural Literacy Campaign, a multi-year effort that promotes and supports early childhood literacy in African American, Hispanic, and American Indian communities — where reading scores are lowest. The success of the partnership has also enabled RIF to improve the quality of books at the local level, create and distribute multicultural book collections, and expand its public education and outreach.

RIF has also been able to create volunteer engagement tools, such as the RIF locator map — a new interactive, multimedia experience into “the Heart of the Story” of RIF, which allows anyone who is interested to find RIF programs in their area and learn about RIF’s participation in community events that help thousands of children discover the joy of reading.

True to RIF’s structure as a volunteer-based organization, this year’s phenomenal success can be attributed to thousands of RIF volunteers and supporters who helped engage local Macy’s stores and spread the word via e-mail, telephone, word of mouth, and more. The Tell A Friend feature of the campaign, which allowed users to enter the e-mail addresses of 3 friends or more, was particularly successful. More than 4,800 individuals told close to 15,000 friends about the campaign, and anyone who used this feature was entered into a $1,000 Macy’s shopping spree sweepstakes from RIF — the winner is Jan Roberts of San Pedro, Calif.

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