NEW YORK, Aug. 4, 2023 — In support of providing books and reading resources to children living in our country’s most under-resourced communities, Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and Macy’s announced that more than $1.3 million was raised last month as part of a monthlong in-store round-up and online donation campaign to support student literacy.
Funds raised during the campaign will support RIF’s Race, Equity and Inclusion work, of which Macy’s is a founding member, to provide diverse books and reading resources to underserved communities in an effort to help close the literacy gap, while also supporting RIF’s third Rally to Read 100, an annual six-month reading engagement initiative.
Under the company’s social purpose platform, Mission Every One, Macy’s celebrates 20 years of partnership with RIF, the nation’s preeminent children’s literacy organization. Through the partnership, the two organizations have fostered a joy of reading and empowered youth across the country. Macy’s and RIF’s long-standing partnership has resulted in a total contribution of more than $45 million toward children’s literacy, the distribution of over 15 million books, and the creation of more than 20,000 supplemental literacy resources and tools offered free to all children on RIF’s book resource website at www.RIF.org/Literacy-Central.
Dr. Ingrid Bynum, a former RIF Kid and now proud principal at a K- 8 school in Virginia, spoke with Slate and shared how the partnership between RIF and Macy’s has directly impacted the students in her school and the greater community. Featured as one of the informative segments within the Slate podcast throughout July, her interview highlights how the dollars raised to support RIF’s mission makes a real impact in communities year after year.
“Literacy is the very foundation of learning, and we are grateful to be celebrating 20 years of working with Macy’s, an organization that puts giving back as a core pillar of its values and shares our commitment to tackling the nation’s literacy crisis,” said Alicia Levi, president and CEO of RIF. “Through Macy’s generous support, RIF supplies meaningful reading resources to children, educators, and families. This is especially important as we continue to address the literacy gap and work to change the trajectory of the literacy crisis to ensure that every child has the opportunity to learn, discover, and achieve their full potential.”
“Through our social purpose platform, Mission Every One, we work to empower youth and create brighter futures with bold representation for all. Through our long-standing partnership with RIF, Macy’s has been able to provide access to critical resources and books to youth in underserved communities across the nation to ensure that every child has the opportunity to learn, share reading materials where children can see themselves represented, and help our nation’s youth achieve their highest potential,” said Sam Di Scipio, Macy’s, Inc. senior director, social impact.
In honor of the partnership’s milestone anniversary, the iconic 34th St. windows at Macy’s Herald Square flagship store highlighted the work with a reading-focused display throughout the month of July and into August. RIF staff visited Macy’s stores across the country to express their support and gratitude and met with Macy’s colleagues to discuss the shared vision to end the literacy gap and empower youth.
Finally, colleagues at Macy’s corporate headquarters in New York City will conclude the celebration of two decades by volunteering to create literacy kits comprised of books, bookmarks, reading activities and additional fun reading activities that will be distributed to the more than 700 Kindergarten through 8th-grade students at Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School in Brooklyn, New York.