RIF Brings Children’s Books to More Than 20,000


Reading is FUNdamental (RIF) is a national program that brings mobile libraries and learning services to children in low income areas. RIF Pittsburgh brings their services to over 20,000 children in our region on a regular basis.

In 1981 Marirose Radelet, a Northside resident, founded RIF Pittsburgh. Radelet started our city’s chapter of RIF after discovering how few children in economically devastated areas have books of their own. Almost ⅔ of low-income families do not have any books in their home for their children. This statistic contributes to the looming literacy gap in America’s children based on their economic standing.

It is RIF’s mission to close this gap and instill a passion for reading in Pittsburgh’s youth that will last into their adulthood.

Part of RIF’s success over the years has been a result of the children involved in the program getting the chance to choose their own books. The Storymobile is a library on wheels that allows classes of children to come in, do an activity, and choose a book to rent out until the Storymobile returns.
The Storymobile travels to a variety of facilities including childcare homes and public housing communities within the Pittsburgh region. RIF provides age-appropriate literature and resources for parents to inspire reading on a daily basis at home.

in 2008, RIF was selected as a National Program Excellence Honoree and is currently one of the 5 largest RIF programs in the United States.

RIF continues to grow in size and influence by adhering to and promoting 4 core elements to those they serve; access to books, self-selection, motivational environments, and family involvement.

To learn more about Reading is FUNdamental or to find out how you can help visit them at rifpittsburgh.org