The “Reading Is Fundamental” Volunteer Program

UCLA is dedicated to community service and outreach and encourages students, faculty, and staff to participate in volunteer activities. One of the volunteer programs that UCLA Housing & Hospitality Services (H&HS) departments have been involved in is the Reading is Fundamental program, also known as RIF. For over eight years, H&HS has partnered with the RIF program to provide books to elementary age school children in the Los Angeles area.

Reading is Fundamental is the nation’s oldest and largest non-profit children’s literacy organization. The mission of RIF is to instill a lifelong love of reading in children and to assist children and their families with the fundamental resources they need to become motivated to read.  The RIF program has over 450,000 volunteers nationwide and last year gave away 15 million books to underserved children!

Each quarter, volunteers from UCLA Housing & Hospitality Services  departments visit three elementary schools in the LA area. We share our love of reading and education by reading books aloud to the children in various classrooms.  Then, each child gets to select a book and bookmark to keep, provided by the RIF organization.  At the end of the year, the kids will have three books of their very own to start building their personal library.

Our staff looks forward to going to each reading session at these schools because the kids are so excited when the UCLA RIF volunteers come to their classrooms to read.  They listen intently to the stories as they are read and can’t wait to hear what happens next!  It’s the best feeling when a student comes up and tells you how much they enjoyed the book they received at one of the visits and asks when we are coming back to read again..

To learn more about the Reading is Fundamental program, please visit: www.rif.org

Written by:
Lindsey Rice

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