Original Date: 02/26/2001
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Reading Is Fundamental Program
General Dynamics Armament Systems has been actively participating in and funding the Reading Is Fundamental Program in the Burlington area elementary schools since 1997. The company sponsors book giveaways, author visits, and classroom reading sessions. The Program reaches approximately 25% of the community, and has been instrumental in increasing reading proficiency from 38% to 65%.
General Dynamics Armaments Systems has an excellent history of volunteerism within the community for serving on non-profit and civic organizations. In 1997, the company began volunteering and supporting the Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) Program for the Burlington area elementary schools. RIF is a national non-profit organization that promotes children’s literacy. Founded in 1966 on the premise that children who read often, read better, RIF is now the nation’s largest literacy organization, serving some five million children per year. In addition, the program promotes partnerships between industry and academia.
General Dynamics Armament Systems (GDAS), RIF provides an opportunity to support the community, increases employee morale, and enhances the company’s image within the community. The company’s participation is exceptional: featuring book giveaways, author visits, and volunteers for classroom reading sessions. The funding for book giveaways is sponsored through GDAS’ corporate office in Falls Church, Virginia. More than 5,700 books are distributed in December, February, and April to approximately 1,900 Burlington school children (K-5). Each child will receive three books throughout the course of the school year. The company also sponsors author visits. Typically, authors visit the six local elementary schools and talk to the students about their work in researching, writing, and illustrating books. GDAS’ employees also volunteer forbook distributions. Employees and volunteers for classroom reading are organized into six teams, one for each school. This approach provides the continuity necessary for success. Although the RIF team volunteers are most actively engaged in the book distributions, they do participate in the classroom reading sessions along with other GDAS employees. classroom reading sessions. During the I Love to Read Week, GDAS volunteers read to over 80 classes in the six schools. They also discuss the importance of reading to the children’s future success.
The RIF Program is a win-win situation for children, families, schools, and the community. The program reaches approximately 25% of Burlington residents, and has been instrumental in increasing reading proficiency. In addition, GDAS proudly recognizes and rewards its volunteers for participation in RIF. There is an intrinsic satisfaction for the volunteers to see the children’s faces when they read to classrooms and hand out books. The company also benefits from increased employee morale and enhancement of its image within the community.
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