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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.

Run to Read

Shoes 4 Books 

Jean Dean RIF (Reading Is Fundamental) is conducting a shoe collection drive –SHOES FOR BOOKS -now through January 2, 2017 to raise funds for providing books in the homes of at-risk young children across Alabama- for many, the first books in their homes!    Jean Dean RIF will earn funds based on the number of pairs collected as Funds2Orgs will purchase all of the donated goods. 

All donated shoes will then be 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.


Please bring your shoes to
1105 Fitzpatrick Ave
Opelika, Al 36801 



See the Need to Read to a Child 2017 Calendar 

Join with thousands of other Alabamians to focus on books and reading during 2017 by purchasing a 2017 SEE the NEED to READ to a Child “Reading Calendar” from Jean Dean RIF (Reading Is Fundamental)/Kiwanis.

 It is the ideal way to help buy books for at-risk young children across Alabama and take care of some of your early “holiday shopping”. The calendars are priced at $12 to match the cost per child for Jean Dean RIF, a grassroots program which manages to provide 3 quality, age-appropriate books each to over 20,000 at risk young children across the state every year. 2016 was the 25th year for the program to put books into the hands and homes of our poorest children. The first “Reading Calendar”, the 15-16 school year “Get Caught Reading to a Child” calendar will end just in time for this new 2017 “SEE the NEED to READ to a Child Reading Calendar” to spread across the state. Over 2000 “Reading calendars” were sold last year. Calendar sales continue to further the program mission: to provide books and volunteers to read them to help prepare at-risk young children to be READY for kindergarten and have hope of doing well in school and life. For most of the kids given Jean Dean RIF books , these are the FIRST books in their homes, making family literacy POSSIBLE for the first time. Vocabulary is built from listening to the stories, parents have the opportunity to develop closer family relationships while reading, and children see their parents and other adults they love with books in their hands. Reading takes on a whole new context for them. The key to unlock education begins to turn- in their homes, then at school.

Press Release

See the Need Calendar 2017

JeanDean RIF 2016 Scholarship  



A new scholarship was started in 2016 in honor of the 25th Anniversary of Kiwanis service
 to children through Jean Dean RIF (Reading Is Fundamental),
the signature service project of the Alabama Kiwanis Foundation.
Because the quality of the applicants was so high, two scholarships will be awarded in 2016. 

Jean Dean RIF
Scholarship Winner

Javier Figueroa
Jean Dean RIF
Scholarship Winne
Avery McNeill
 Graduating #1 in his class at Holly Pond High School, Javier Figueroa started his formal education in preschool at Cullman City Head Start. 
       An active member of the Holly Pond Key Club, Javier was also a member of SGA, Future Business Leaders of America, Beta Club, Math Team, school journalism activities and Scholars Bowl. He was the Holly Pond Representative to Youth Leadership Cullman County, Boy’s State and the Youth Leadership Development Program.
    Javier will be attending the University of Alabama in
    How did getting Kiwanis RIF books at home help him or his family? “As the 4th child of a Mexican family, I rarely received anything new. Receiving brand new books in Head Start was one of the best feelings I had felt when I was young. I was overjoyed and I would read my books a lot, oftentimes to my family. Not only did my books help me read English, they helped my parents start on their journey of learning to speak English. The new books I received helped me discover my love for reading and even school. (These) books have helped me want to pursue an education after high school, unlike the rest of my family.” 
Graduating #1 in his class at Florala High School, Avery McNeill started his formal education in preschool at Florala Head Start. 
        An active member of the Florala Key Club, Avery was also Student Government President, was a member of Peer Helpers, Beta Club and the Fellowship of Christian Students and played high school football, basketball and baseball. He also served as a Cancer Freeze Volunteer, Christian Service Center Volunteer and Camp Victory Volunteer.
    Avery will be attending the University of South Alabama concentrating on a math or science curriculum.
    How did getting Kiwanis RIF books at home help him or his family? “By giving (me) the key to learning. Having books in your own hands at an early age is a huge advantage to beginning an education.”