JeanDean RIF 

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                          ATTENTION: We've had such a great volunteer turnout over the past several weeks that we're WAY ahead of our normal schedule. As such, we'll be canceling a few scheduled volunteer days. March 29&30 and April 12&13 RIF Warehouse work days will be cancelled. Normal Monday times will still be available. Thanks everyone for all your hard work this year! .....


I know you have read a lot about what Congress is doing about cutting funds. They have a hard job-it is true. Thank you for responding when we sent out email pleas for letters to your representatives in Washington.
SImply put- National RIF is alive and well but a whole lot poorer now in terms of grant availability to programs around the country. Jean Dean RIF is alive and well but definitely in a fund raising mode so we don't have to drop children in need.
The bottom line for us is :
National RIF funding through the Dept of Education has now BEEN CUT from FY2011. That means, when our Jean Dean RIF/Kiwanis contracts come up for renewal in July 2011, we can apply for renewal through July 2012, after that, but there will be NO federal funds coming to RIF to provide grants to RIF programs around the country.
This means about ONE THIRD of the funding we have been using for the last 10 years will not be available for request. It covers about 8000 of the 25,000-plus at-risk young children we serve who are either in our poorest counties, where there ARE no Kiwanis Clubs, or kids in counties where Kiwanis Clubs and other funders were not able to cover them. (small clubs, big populations of poor kids, etc)
National RIF will still exist and as such we will renew annually to be a RIF project and work with them to maximize their benefits to us but they won't be in a position to send as many funds our way UNLESS they ARE ABLE to get back in the FY2012 budget or otherwise grow their funding which they and we are working on even as we speak.
(I have made trips to Montgomery to speak to a member of Congresswoman Roby's staff on RIF's behalf. She attended one of our RIF distributions. Recently, the owner of a book company out of New York we have dealt with for several years came to Opelika to meet and discuss ways to work through this funding crunch.

Our early literacy mission is not without friends. During these tight times, we need to remember our friends and work even closer with them to achieve funding solutions.
I will be in DC in early May to attend a Leaders for Literacy conference honoring 30 RIF projects from around the nation and while there, will also call on our representatives.

Thank you in advance for any help you can provide in this regard.)

Today Charter Foundation presented a grant check for $1,000 to the Alabama Kiwanis Foundation to be used for the Jean Dean RIF (Reading is Fundamental) program.  In the picture is Mary Goodson, Assistant Branch Manager of our East University Branch, Rich Bailey-Director of Jean Dean RIF’s “Run to Read” race in November 2014, Cathy Gafford-Director of Jean Dean RIF, and Linda Lee Drummond-Lee County President.

The Heckman Equation: Early Childhood Education Benefits All

By Brendan Greeley January 16, 2014

The Heckman Equation: Early Childhood Education Benefits All

Photograph by Jean Lachat

“Boy, Jim, sounds like you’ve really turned into a social democrat.” This is what James Heckman remembers Lawrence Summers telling him one day in the early 1990s as they sat in Summers’s office in Washington. Heckman, an economist at the University of Chicago, was laying out his ideas about economic development to Summers, then a Treasury under secretary. Poor families should have guaranteed access to education for their 3- and 4-year-olds, Heckman said. He wasn’t advocating socialism, he told Summers, just the opposite: He was fixing a market failure.

Heckman won a Nobel prize in 2000. He used his speech in Stockholm to underscore the importance of using hard, observable data in making public policy, and he’s continued to gather evidence for the idea he explained to Summers. Focused, personal attention paid to the young children of poor families isn’t some warm, fuzzy notion, he argues. It’s a hard-nosed investment that pays off in lower social welfare costs, decreased crime rates, and increased tax revenue. And he has the numbers to prove it. He calls this the Heckman Equation, and shares it relentlessly in public lectures around the country and the world. “The argument is not just an appeal to the poor,” he says. “We’re saving money for everyone, including the taxpaying middle class and upper class. Right now they’re supporting prisons, health, special education in schools. The benefit is broadly shared.… It’s something that would actually accrue to the whole country.”

Saving money, or at least justifying spending it, is now a requirement in Congress and state capitols, and Heckman’s advocacy is winning the support of politicians in both parties. Last year the White House pointed to his work in its budget proposal for early education grants to states. On Dec. 13, congressional negotiators put $250 million for new early education funding into its omnibus spending bill. And President Obama is expected to make the issue a priority in his upcoming State of the Union speech.

The states are way ahead of Obama. Fifteen governors, more Republicans than Democrats, included new money for early childhood education in their budgets in 2013. In all, states are now spending $400 million more on pre-K than before the economic downturn. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who meets with Heckman often, says much of this activity can be credited to Heckman’s work. “You have this Nobel prize-winning economist and not some soft-hearted someone like me,” says Duncan. “It’s incredibly powerful.”

Heckman grounds his argument in two long-term studies, one begun in the 1960s in Ypsilanti, Mich., and another a decade later in Chapel Hill, N.C. Both provided free preschool to children from lower-income families. In the decades since, researchers have been given periodic access to those children, now adults. At age 40, the subjects from the Ypsilanti study were far more likely than their peers to have graduated from high school and have jobs. They were more likely to own homes and less likely to have needed social services. The boys were more likely to have grown up to raise their own children and less likely ever to have been arrested. Children from the program in Chapel Hill had higher test scores than their peers through adolescence and were more likely to have gone to college. Both studies are well-known to education researchers. Heckman put them under the gimlet eye of a microeconomist.

In 2010 he and several co-authors produced what he called the “first rigorous cost-benefit study” of the Ypsilanti program. The free instruction cost $17,759 per child per year in 2006 dollars (the year they began working with the data). Heckman set out to find out what taxpayers got for that money. He calculated what the program had saved the state and federal government in social welfare, what it had paid out in increased tax revenue from higher wages, and, most significantly, what it had saved in police, court, and prison costs. The initial investment provided what Heckman calls a “return to society” at an annual rate of 7 percent to 10 percent. Put another way, each dollar spent at age 4 is worth between $60 and $300 by age 65. “For my Republican friends, that’s a language they respect,” says Duncan.




Thank each  of you again for giving of your time and talents to make the 2013 Ride to Read benefiting Jean Dean RIF and the children we serve a huge success!  After  Susan, Shannon, JM and I did a quick tally yesterday afternoon, it looks like Jean Dean RIF will net about $3500 on Ride to Read 2013—enough to ensure over 1166 children can get one book each in 2013-2014.  GOOD JOB!!! 

TRI-K Day 2012

Poker Run Pictures Click Here