WASHINGTON, July 21, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Macy’s and Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) are excited to announce that more than half a million books will be distributed to children in underserved communities across America as a result of the 2015 Be Book Smart campaign. The campaign was held in Macy’s stores nationwide from June 21 through July 12 and gave customers the opportunity to make a difference for children in their communities who lack access to books. This year’s campaign will result in the donation of nearly 580,000 books, and brings the total funds raised by Macy’s for 12 years to $33 million.
The efforts of Macy’s and their customers to raise funds for books is important as millions of children in the United States do not have access to books. This is especially true during the summer months when schools are closed. Without books to read, children from economically disadvantaged communities are at risk to lose reading skills over the summer, which contributes to a learning gap. By giving children the opportunity to own a book, the Be Book Smart campaign helps children discover the joys of reading.
“We are proud to support Reading Is Fundamental’s work to inspire children with the joy of reading all year long, especially during the summer months,” said Martine Reardon, Macy’s chief marketing officer. “The Macy’s Be Book Smart campaign shows that we can make a meaningful difference in those communities who are most in need of books.”
For 12 years, Macy’s has partnered with RIF, the nation’s largest children’s literacy organization. To date, more than 11 million books have been distributed to children who need them most. Through Be Book Smart, Macy’s customers donated $3 to give books to children in need in local communities, and Macy’s contributed 100 percent of the funds raised to RIF.
As part of the campaign, Macy’s and RIF released lists of children’s favorite books to inspire young readers and help provide parents with an easy reference reading guide for their kids over the summer. The lists include books and fun activities from RIF’s Multicultural Book Collection, which is funded in part by Macy’s.
“We are extremely grateful for the continued support and commitment of Macy’s, as well as its dedicated associates and generous customers,” noted Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO, Reading Is Fundamental. “Thanks to our partnership, millions of children who may not have access to books, especially at home, can now have the opportunity to experience the magic and power that books provide.”
Through customer supported fundraising campaigns, in-store events and volunteer activities, Macy’s has helped RIF further its important mission to prepare and motivate children and young people to read.
Macy’s, the largest retail brand of Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE: M), delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers at approximately 800 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam, as well as to customers in the U.S. and more than 100 international destinations through its leading online store at macys.com. Via its stores, e-commerce site, mobile and social platforms, Macy’s offers distinctive assortments including the most desired family of exclusive and fashion brands for him, her and home. Macy’s is known for such epic events as Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks® and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®, as well as spectacular fashion shows, culinary events, flower shows and celebrity appearances. Macy’s flagship stores including Herald Square in New York City, Union Square in San Francisco, State Street in Chicago, Dadeland in Miami and South Coast Plaza in southern California are known internationally and leading destinations for visitors. Building on a more than 150-year tradition, and with the collective support of customers and employees, Macy’s helps strengthen communities by supporting local and national charities giving more than $70 million each year to help make a difference in the lives of our customers.
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About Reading Is Fundamental® (RIF)
Reading Is Fundamental delivers free books and literacy resources to children and families in economically disadvantaged communities in the United States. By giving children the opportunity to own a book, RIF inspires them to become lifelong readers and achieve their full potential. RIF is leading the way to help minimize the summer learning slide through Read for Success, a proven program model aimed at early elementary students to reduce summer reading loss and improve literacy proficiency all year long. As the nation’s largest children’s literacy nonprofit, RIF has placed 412 million books in the hands of more than 40 million children since it was established in 1966. To learn more and help provide books to kids who need them most, visit www.RIF.org.