Matt Jones Recieves Volunteer of the ...

Matt Jones Recieves Volunteer of the Year Award from Reading Is Fundamental

Posted in the Petoskey Forum


Columbia, MD

#1 Apr 13, 2010
Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation’s oldest and largest children and families’ literacy nonprofit organization, announced its three recipients of the 2010 Anne Hazard Richardson RIF Volunteer of the Year Award (VOYA), sponsored by Macy’s, RIF’s lead partner for volunteer engagement.

Volunteers are the backbone of RIF programs in communities across America. VOYA 2010 recognizes the inspiring work of a RIF coordinator, a parent volunteer, and a community volunteer who have donated their time, talents, and energy to help children discover the joy of reading. RIF is proud to recognize the following volunteers for their dedication and service as truly outstanding RIF volunteers: Donna Koch of the Cedar Rapids Friends of the Library in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Matt Jones of the Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency Head Start in Petoskey, Mich.; and Annette Montoya of the Taos Public Library in Taos, N.M..

“In communities across the country, many thousands of individuals support free book distributions and reading motivation events in RIF programs,” said Carol H. Rasco, RIF president and CEO.“RIF volunteers, such as the ones we recognize today, help mobilize these communities in support of children’s literacy.”

Matt Jones—Petoskey, Michigan
The RIF program at the Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency Head Start (NMCAA) is considered the agency’s cornerstone of early literacy programming. A recent parent survey indicates that families believe the RIF program is critical to their children’s literacy development and reading motivation. As a dedicated parent volunteer, Jones served on the agency’s Parent Policy Council and became a vocal supporter of the RIF program’s book distributions and promotion of early literacy. He created a special family literacy event, now an annual tradition at the agency, which provides families with high-quality books and literacy resources, in addition to RIF books. As a concerned parent volunteer, Jones became acutely aware of the NMCAA’s need to raise local matching funds during a time of unprecedented economic crisis in Michigan, a state hit hard by the recent economic downturn. Therefore, with local contributors unable to support the RIF program as in previous years, Jones submitted and was awarded a special grant through his employer, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, to meet NMCAA’s local match. For the past five years, Jones’s volunteer efforts have brought RIF books to nearly 1,500 children at 45 sites across northwest Michigan.

This year’s honorees continue a tradition of more than 40 years of developing new and innovative ways to serve children and parents in the RIF programs of their respective communities.

The 2010 Anne Hazard Richardson RIF Volunteer of the Year Awards are presented by Macy’s, RIF’s lead partner for volunteer engagement. Since 2004, Macy’s customers have helped raise more than $13 million dollars for RIF to support local RIF programs, RIF’s Multicultural Literacy Campaign, and other literacy initiatives.

“Giving back is one of Macy’s core values,” said Robin Reibel, Group Vice President for Cause Marketing and Media Relations for Macy’s.“We are proud to partner with RIF to recognize the inspiring work of RIF coordinators and volunteers who donate their time, talents, and energy to motivate children to read.”

The 2010 VOYAs, and their nominators, will be recognized during RIF’s Gift of Reading Gala in Washington on May 26.

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