'Reading Is Fundamental' Offers Expansive Multicultural Book Collection Aiming to Help Close Achievement Gap
WASHINGTON, Feb. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation's largest children's literacy nonprofit, has released the 2011-12 Multicultural Book Collection, featuring high-quality books for children grades K-4. RIF has distributed the collection to RIF programs across the country since 2007 as part of its Multicultural Literacy Campaign, a multi-year initiative to promote and support early childhood literacy in African American, Hispanic and American Indian communities. In honor of the organization's 45th anniversary, this year's collection features 45 children's books highlighting the theme "celebration." Each book in the collection was carefully reviewed and selected by RIF's Literacy Services team with guidelines provided by RIF's Literature Advisory Board and Multicultural Advisory Committee, national panels of educators and experts in children's literature.
Literature that features diverse characters, themes, and situations is more important than ever as reading scores among African-American, Hispanic and Native American students continue to lag significantly behind those of White and Asian students. According to the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress, of fourth-grade students scoring in the highest percentile on reading assessments, 71 percent were White while only 7 percent were Black and 11 percent were Hispanic.
"When children see themselves in the books they read at a young age, they are motivated to read more books and read more often. Books are powerful mirrors and windows for all of us," said Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of RIF. "This collection and its accompanying resources are critical keys to closing the achievement gap."
A full list of the new collection's selected titles is available on RIF's website along with complementary educational resources for parents and educators to expand on the topics and themes found in the books.
This year's list includes celebrated and award-winning titles such as: