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Our Mission

To put quality, age-appropriate books into the hands and homes of at-risk young children before they start kindergarten so they can be ready to succeed in school and life.


It's Coming the New 2019 RIF Calendar

The 2019 Jean Dean RIF Read to Succeed Calendar Contest has ended. No more votes will be counted. HUGE THANKS to all who entered photos for the Jean Dean RIF "2019 Read to Succeed" Calendar. Great photos were in the running and over 1000 votes were cast during the contest. The winners are listed here! Click on each photo to find out who won! Stay turned to hear more about when the calendar will be available, how to advertise in it and and when and where you can get your own copy! Everyone who entered the contest will receive a free copy! Thanks again for your support! Jean Dean RIF

Ride to Read June 2, 2018

Ride to Read 2018

Bennie Adkins
Bennie Adkins Signs New Book

Congratulations Jylexus Williams!! 

2018 Alabama Kiwanis Foundation, Inc.
"Jean Dean RIF Kid" Scholarship Winner!!!

The Alabama Kiwanis foundation board and Jean Dean RIF want to thank all who applied for the scholarship and congratulate each of you for your successes in school life.
We so proud of each of you.

Breakfast for Books February 3rd  THANK YOU

Run to Read Great Success

     Thanks to all came out to support Jean Dean RIF at the  2017 EAMC RUN TO READ--between volunteers, runners and walkers, about 100 folks!!  Thanks to our faithful sponsors and participants this year, close to 4000 children will receive books in their homes- for most, the FIRST books in their homes!
     Special thanks to our fine sponsors
:  Sponsoring Partner EAMC, UPS Pilots Association, Sara Schwarzauer "Jesus Loves You" Family Foundation, All About Books, J Smith Lanier, Opelika City Schools, Opelika-Auburn News, Auburn Bank, Bubba's Medicine Shop, ESG, Frederick-Dean Funeral Home, iHeart Media, Lambert Transfer & Storage, Opelika Fire & Police Departments,  Opelika Parks & Rec, Sidney Lanier, Trustmark, Superior Portables, The Observer, Auburn Audio Visual and BancorpSouth.
     Special thanks to our guest author Richard Oden
, to the AU  VCOM students who provided health screenings, and the organizations who provided information on parenting and healthcare.
     Special thanks to our
Run Committee and volunteers from AU IMPACT,  AU Circle K, AU Ladies Society, Auburn and Opelika Kiwanis, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,  Southern Union Mu Alpha Theta and many individuals who regularly support our efforts to put books in to the hands of children in need.
     Many thanks also
to all who brought shoes for the SHOES4BOOKS campaign!

TRI-K DAY Rousing Success

 180 Members of the Kiwanis Family traveled to Opelika from Mobile to Huntsville and parts in between--to help positively touch the lives of the children served through Jean Dean RIF/Kiwanis!  Most of that 180 were there for at least 3  hours and with travel- lots more than that!  Greg and I truly appreciate all y'all did to help Kick off RIF well for 2017-2018!  This gets one third of the books we will distribute ready for "pulling and shipping".  (Circle K had the biggest turnout with 111 volunteers!  Key CLub brought 36, Kiwanis Clubs contributed 28 volunteers and 5 local volunteers rounded out our group today!)  GREAT JOB  KIWANIS FAMILY!
Other highlights of the day: 

     AL District Kiwanis, Circle K and Key Club Boards met  today as well after providing service to RIF. 
     Critt Snellgrove brought 136 pairs of shoes from Dothan for SHOES4BOOKS! Others also contributed shoes for this year's Drive.
     Melba Palys and others helped by bringing supplies for the warehouse!

     Having Greg Gardner on our team this year and getting his friends' help to set up tables and unload pallets really helped us "get ready" this year. (Having Lambert Transfer's support was also invaluable--as usual!!)
     As always, it was great to have Meg and Tom Beard lending there extensive talents to making Tri-K a success! 

     Also nice to have Bree Caldwell-faithful RIF volunteer -keeping our inventory going -in the back as well! 
     Glenn  Buxton  special thank YOU for always "being there" and making us look good on the website!

Once again--Many thanks!!   It was WONDERFUL to see all of you in the warehouse today  and have your help!
Glenn & Cathy

Shoes 4 Books

Jean Dean RIF (Reading Is Fundamental) launches new SHOES4BOOKS
Shoe Collection Drive to raise money for books for at-risk kids
Shoe donations also support micro-enterprises in developing nations and reduce what goes into U.S. landfills                                               Jean Dean RIF (Reading Is Fundamental) is conducting its second SHOES4BOOKS shoe collection drive now through October 31. It will raise funds to provide books in the homes of at-risk young children in every county in Alabama- for many, the first books in their homes!  Jean Dean RIF will earn funds again from Funds2Orgs based on the number of pairs collected.  In 2016, thanks to help from Kiwanis Clubs, churches, schools,  various organizations and many other individual “friends of RIF”, $2700 was raised from SHOES4BOOKS to help buy books for children in need.         After the Shoe Drive, all donated shoes are redistributed throughout the Funds2Orgs network of microenterprise partners in developing nations.  Funds2Orgs helps impoverished people start, maintain and grow businesses in countries such as Haiti, Honduras and other nations in Central America and Africa. Proceeds from the shoe sales are used to feed, clothe and house their families. One budding entrepreneur in Haiti even earned enough to send her son to law school.

Individuals or groups are encouraged to help in the Jean Dean RIF SHOES4BOOKS Drive by contacting Cathy Gafford, Director, Jean Dean RIF, on 334-750-9974 or jeandeanrif@gmail.com.  Anyone can help Jean Dean RIF provide books to at-risk kids by donating gently worn, used or new shoes at the RIF Warehouse at 1105 Fitzpatrick Avenue in Opelika.  For those located outside the Lee County Area, we’ll be glad to set up shoe pick up from you. Those wanting to help can contact Gafford and commit to collecting 25 pairs of shoes or more.  Partners are welcomed to help meet drive goals.  The Drive CANNOT TAKE worn out shoes (with holes or soles loose). 

We are excited about our second shoe drive," said Gafford.    "We know most people have extra shoes in their closets which could be donated to help children in Alabama get much needed books in their homes and also help those less fortunate in other countries become self-sufficient.  It’s a win-win for everyone,” added Gafford.  “I look forward to hearing from individuals or groups that want to help us raise funds by collecting shoes to help buy books for at-risk young children.   We’ve set a goal for each month of the campaign which we are hoping to exceed.    In September, our goal is 100 bags and in October the goal is 150 bags. Progress toward our goals will be listed on www.jeandeanrif.org and Facebook (Jean Dean Reading Is Fundamental)   


Shoes 4 Books
The mission of Jean Dean RIF, signature service project of the Alabama Kiwanis Foundation, is to put books into the hands and homes of at-risk young children before they start kindergarten to help get them READY to do well in school and life.  For 26 years, Jean Dean RIF has provided three top-quality, age- appropriate books to every child in every Head Start and Early Head Start in Alabama every year.  Having books in the homes greatly increases the opportunity for literacy.   Continuing to purchase these much needed tools for educational success requires funds.

Donating shoes to the Jean Dean RIF Shoe Drive will MAKE A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE in thousands of people’s lives and lots of shoes will continue to be useful.  Please sign up to help in the Jean Dean RIF Shoes4Books Drive today by emailing jeandeanrif@gmail.com.   

Birdies for Books, July 15, 2017

Many thanks to Birdies for Books Disc Golf Tournament Director, Brad Moseley, our disc golf players, our sponsors, Nick McLeod (Culinary Creations of Auburn, llc)) and Billy Jackson at the Opelika Parks and Rec Sportsplex for a fantastic First Annual BIRDIES for BOOKS!!  There was great disc golf for close to 50 players, a lot of super door prizes, a goody bag and a delicious lunch.  The event netted over $2500 to help put top-quality , age-appropriate books into the hands and homes of at-risk children all over Alabama!  Jean Dean RIF is thrilled to add Disc Golf to its event schedule!! 

Ride to Read 2017 a BIG Success 

JeanDean RIF 2017 Scholarship  

It is with great excitement that we are opening applications for the second year for a scholarship available to all former "RIF kids" in Alabama who are high school graduates and plan to go on to higher education opportunities in the Fall of 2017.

The Board of the Alabama Kiwanis Foundation, Inc. has made the funds available for a $500 scholarship to be awarded to a deserving young Alabamian who received RIF books from the Jean Dean RIF Program.

All applications must be received by May 12, 2017, and the winner will be announced by May 19, 2017. All applicants will receive notice of the winner. The awarding of the scholarship this year is in honor of the 26th year of Jean Dean Reading Is Fundamental, signature service project of the Alabama Kiwanis Foundation, Inc.
Please make every effort to make this opportunity available to the Jean Dean RIF/Kiwanis “kids” in your local areas who could benefit from this scholarship assistance.

Scholarship Application