UGI celebrated the 25th anniversary of its partnership with Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) by distributing more than 1,500 books to visiting school children and guests in the Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg, PA on Wednesday, April 13.
UGI also presented the “Energy To Do More Award” to RIF and state Senator Judith Schwank (D-11th District) for their contributions to early childhood literacy and education.
Carol Rasco, president and CEO of RIF, accepted the award on behalf of the organization. Celebrating its 50th anniversary, RIF is the oldest and most successful children’s literacy initiative in the United States. Since its founding by Margaret McNamara in 1966, RIF has given 412 million books to more than 40 million children.
Senator Schwank was instrumental in launching Ready.Set.READ!, a children’s literacy initiative serving multiple school districts in Berks County, and has consistently focused on education as a key legislative priority. Sen. Schwank is a member of the bipartisan Early Childhood Literacy Caucus and a member of the Senate Aging and Youth Committee.
During its 25 year partnership with RIF, UGI has provided over 1.2 million books to more than 400,000 first-grade students in hundreds of schools across Pennsylvania. UGI employees have donated more than 15,000 hours of volunteer service helping to spread the joy and importance of reading.
“Twenty-five years ago, UGI recognized that early childhood literacy was a critical component of workforce, community, and economic development,’ Robert F. Beard, president and CEO of UGI Utilities, Inc., said. “Many studies reinforce the finding that children who do not read at grade level by the fourth grade have greater difficulty learning in later grades and in high school. This, in turn, limits their options for further education, and impacts their ability to compete in today’s competitive job market.”
The UGI-RIF Capitol Rotunda event was also attended by approximately 50 students from the Harrisburg School District.
UGI’s celebration of the 25th anniversary of the UGI-RIF partnership will continue with local celebrations at the following local libraries:
Families are invited to attend the event, and elementary school age children will receive a free book while supplies last
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