Our long-standing commitment to the communities we serve is actively cultivated in a spirit of giving that is present throughout all our operating units.
Among our strongest initiatives is our sponsorship of the critically acclaimed Reading is Fundamental program (RIF), which promotes literacy and a love for reading among underprivileged youth. As one of the largest sponsors of RIF in Chicago, Follett Corporation sponsors four Chicago Public Schools so they can participate in the program. In addition, we donate thousands of children’s books to RIF’s Parent Community Organization program, which helps parents promote reading at home. And each year, we sponsor the Follett Essay and Poster Contest for Reading is Fundamental in Chicago. This popular contest encourages children participating in RIF to develop their writing skills while exploring the many advantages of reading. More than 2,000 students compete each year for cash prizes and books provided by Follett and the opportunity to be featured in a full-page ad in The Chicago Sun-Times.
For associates, Follett also offers a widely utilized gift matching program that reaches out to the community and resonates at the heart of our corporate culture. And through the Follett Educational Foundation, we help children of Follett associates realize the dream of receiving a college education. During the past decade alone, the Follett Educational Foundation has awarded more than $1 million in scholarships to the sons and daughters of Follett associates.