Atlanta City Councilman Aaron Watson Joins Reading Is Fundamental to Support Literacy Efforts at Benteen Elementary

CIS of Atlanta's Patty Pflum and Henry Coleman join Councilman Aaron Watson, Clifford the Big Red Dog and Benteen students.

Atlanta – Oct. 4, 2011 – Today, Atlanta City Councilman Aaron Watson was joined by Clifford the Big Red Dog and Communities In Schools (CIS) of Atlanta Executive Director Patty Pflum at Benteen Elementary School for the Atlanta stop of the Be A Reader tour. Through this national partnership, Carl Buddig is donating $100,000 to Reading Is Fundamental’s to support children’s literacy programs.

Councilman Aaron Watson and Patty Pflum read, “Max for President” to a captive audience of third graders at Atlanta’s Benteen Elementary School. Beloved children’s book character, Clifford the Big Red Dog, was on hand to greet Benteen’s students and help with book selections. After an engaging question and answer session with Councilman Watson, each student selected a new book for their home libraries.

“Reading is so very important,” shared Watson, a graduate of Notre Dame and Duke universities. “I attribute my love of reading and learning with my success. I want to see each of you succeed in life too.”

Patty Pflum was happy to see that Benteen’s students enjoyed the event. “We are thrilled to be able to work with local schools to bring programs like Reading Is Fundamental to students,” said Patricia Pflum, Communities In Schools of Atlanta Executive Director. “Without RIF and committed partners like Buddig, many children in our community would not have books at home.”

“Our brand has been nourishing young minds for more than 100 years, and we believe that reading and literacy go hand-in-hand with good nutrition to support a lifelong love of learning,” said Tom Buddig, executive vice president marketing, Carl Buddig & Company. “We’re thrilled to be sponsoring the Be A Reader tour and proud to be part of the work that RIF is doing in local communities across the nation.”

“Now more than ever, RIF is counting on strong corporate partners like Carl Buddig & Company to fulfill its mission of motivating children to become lifelong readers, prepared to achieve in school and life,” said Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of RIF.

The Be A Reader campaign extends through May of 2012 and encourages families to enjoy reading time together through activities, special promotions, and community outreach. Now through Oct. 30, families can also participate in the Sandwich and A Story sweepstakes (www.Buddig.com/SandwichAndAStory) for a chance to win a Scholastic book library and a Buddig lunchpack filled with school supplies.

To learn more about the Buddig Be A Reader campaign, visit www.buddig.com.To make a donation to RIF, visit www.rif.org/donate. To learn more about Communities In Schools of Atlanta, visit www.cisatlanta.org.

Councilman Aaron Watson reads to Benteen's students.

About Carl Buddig & Company:

Carl Buddig & Company, based in Homewood, Ill., has been nourishing young minds for more than 100 years with the very best in taste, variety and convenience. Now Buddig is nourishing young minds as a proud supporter of Reading is Fundamental (RIF). Carl Buddig & Company is a family owned, privately held company managed by the third generation of the original founder. The Buddig family business got its start as a butcher shop on Chicago’s south side in the 1880s. Since 1940 Carl Buddig & Company has offered thin-sliced lean meats for sandwiches, snacks and special recipes. Visit www.buddig.com for more information about Carl Buddig products.

About Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF)

Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF), founded in 1966, motivates children to read by working with them, their parents, and community members to make reading a fun and beneficial part of everyday life. RIF’s highest priority is reaching underserved children from birth to age 8. Through community volunteers in every state and U.S. territory, RIF provided 4 million children with 15 million new, free books and literacy resources last year. For more information and to access reading resources, visit RIF’s website at www.rif.org.

About Communities In Schools of Atlanta

Communities In Schools (CIS) of Atlanta, founded in 1972, surrounds students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. Through partnerships with Atlanta Public Schools and the DeKalb County School System, CIS of Atlanta impacts the lives of more than 45,000 students annually. CIS of Atlanta’s award-winning dropout prevention programs focus on improving student attendance and behavior, increasing parental engagement and bring critical resources to students and families. CIS of Atlanta operates one of the largest Reading Is Fundamental programs in Georgia. Visit www.cisatlanta.org for more information.

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