Nov 7 - Dec 31, 2019

Salinas Reading Is Fundamental


Our mission is provide our over 17,000 preschool through sixth grade students the opportunity to freely select three books a year, to take home, read, share with family, and keep forever.

The Big Idea

We begin by contacting 30 school sites in Salinas and north Monterey County, including Castroville, and ask each site to give the numbers of students in pre school and transition K, kindergarten, through sixth grade. When we know the numbers of students, we buy books appropriate to these students' needs. As the books come into our storage site, we sort them according to the schools' needs. Then, each school provides a volunteer distributor in order to hold "RIF Days", days on which the children come and choose a book to take home, read, share with family and keep forever. Board members work all year on raising funds. Schools provide $1 per child for the year, but all the rest of the funds are obtained from grants or from friends of the program. Schools are held accountable for the numbers of books they distribute and each school starts the year with an extra allotment so the last class has choice. This extra allotment is then returned at the end of the school year. Surveys and anecdotal comments are taken each year and we find that the children read and enjoy their books.

"I really like to read books and getting new ones to read." Student in Grade 4 at Kammann School in Salinas. "My Mom can read it to me at bedtime." Student in Grade K at Kammann School. "It does not cost any money. My parents cannot afford books and there are many options. It is fun to select books." Student in Grade 6 at Oasis School. "I get exposed to different authors, and I like to read." Student in Grade 5 at Sacred Heart School.