New Survey: Only One in Three Parents Read Bedtime Stories with their Children Every Night; Children More Likely to Spend Time

New Survey: Only One in Three Parents Read Bedtime Stories with their Children
 Every Night; Children More Likely to Spend Time with TV or Video Games than

Macy's and Reading Is Fundamental Launch Annual Be Book Smart Campaign June 21
to Support Children's Literacy

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, June 20, 2013

WASHINGTON, June 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Despite research on the
importance of reading with children from a young age, few parents with kids
age eight and younger are engaged in nightly reading, according to a new
survey from Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and Macy's. The survey, conducted by
Harris Interactive, finds that only one in three parents (33 percent) read
bedtime stories with their children every night, and 50 percent of parents say
their children spend more time with TV or video games than with books. More
than 1,000 parents across the U.S. completed the survey online in April.

Results of the survey are revealed as Macy's and RIF enter the 10th year of a
partnership that will deliver its 10 millionth book to children in need
nationwide. Be Book Smart launches tomorrow, June 21, and invites customers
coast-to-coast to give $3 at any Macy's register in-store to help provide a
book for a child in their local community. Macy's will donate the full amount
to RIF, and customers will receive a coupon for $10 off an in-store purchase
of $50 or more. The month-long fundraising effort ends July 21. Last year,
Macy's helped to raise $4.8 million to provide 1.6 million books to children
who would not get a new book otherwise.

"Bedtime stories build the foundation for future achievement. For a decade,
Macy's and RIF have worked together to get books and literacy resources to
children in need, giving children and parents tools they need to dream big,"
said Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of Reading Is Fundamental. "While much
news in this survey is encouraging, there is more work to be done – work that
Be Book Smart and our partnership with Macy's will help make possible."

Full survey results are highlighted in an executive summary by Harris
Interactive, and key findings include:

Findings on the amount of time spent reading

  oEighty-seven percent of parents say they currently read bedtime stories
    with their children.
  oBut only one in three parents (33 percent) read bedtime stories daily with
    their children.
  oChildren of families with an annual household income below $35,000 are
    more likely to watch TV (40 percent) than read books (35 percent).

Findings on printed book use

  oPrinted books (76 percent) are the format of choice for most parents of
    children age eight and younger.
  oTwice as many children prefer a printed book (20 percent) over an e-book
    (9 percent), say parents who read both types of books to their children.
  oLess than one in five parents (17 percent) use a combination of printed
    and e-books.

Existing research on literacy shows the importance of starting early:

  oChildren who don't read well by the end of third grade are four times more
    likely to drop out of high school than proficient readers, according to a
    report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
  oTwo-thirds of U.S. fourth graders – and more than four-fifths of those
    from low-income families – are not reading proficiently, according to the
    2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Many literacy studies also show a direct correlation between income level and
the number of books in the household, creating even more obstacles to
developing children's literacy. RIF works to help overcome these challenges by
delivering free books and literacy resources to children and families who need
them most.

"We are proud to join our customers in supporting RIF's work to help children
have better access to books and develop a lifelong love of reading," said
Martine Reardon, chief marketing officer, Macy's. "In talking about our
partnership with RIF, I hear so often about the memories created between a
parent and a child through reading bedtime stories. This summer, we are
especially excited to be hitting a milestone that will enable our 10 millionth
book to be distributed as a result of Macy's partnership with RIF."

Since 2004, Macy's has helped raise more than $25.8 million for RIF. Through
customer-supported fundraising campaigns, in-store events and volunteer
activities, Macy's has donated funds and resources to further the important
message of literacy for future success. Macy's longstanding support has
enabled RIF to promote literacy at all levels, from buying books for children
and training educators to providing resources to parents.

Macy's customers can take part in supporting children's reading and bedtime
stories by donating to the Be Book Smart campaign from June 21 to July 21,
taking part in efforts to contribute the campaign's 10 millionth book to a
child in need.

Facebook Sweepstakes

As part of the Be Book Smart campaign, Macy's and RIF will host a sweepstakes
on Facebook to encourage supporters to share information about the campaign
and post images of quotes from favorite authors to their personal timelines
via a Facebook app. Each week, one winner will be awarded a $500 Macy's gift
card. For official rules and to enter the sweepstakes, visit or No purchase necessary to enter or win a


This Bedtime Story survey was conducted online within the United States by
Harris Interactive on behalf of Reading Is Fundamental between April 8-15,
2013 among 1,003 parents of kids age 8 or younger. No estimates of theoretical
sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including
weighting variables, please contact Olivia Doherty at or 301-656-0348.

About RIF
Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) delivers free books and literacy resources to
children and families in underserved communities in the United States. By
giving children the opportunity to own a book, RIF inspires them to become
lifelong readers and achieve their full potential. As the nation's largest
children's literacy nonprofit, RIF has placed 410 million books in the hands
of more than 39 million children since it was established in 1966. Learn more
and help RIF provide books to kids who need them most, visit

About Macy's
Macy's, the largest retail brand of Macy's, Inc., delivers fashion and
affordable luxury to customers at approximately 800 locations in 45 states,
the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam, as well as to customers in the
U.S. and more than 100 international destinations through its leading online
store at Via its stores, e-commerce site, mobile and social
platforms, Macy's offers distinctive assortments including the most desired
family of exclusive and fashion brands for him, her and home. Macy's is known
for such epic events as Macy's 4th of July Fireworks^® and the Macy's
Thanksgiving Day Parade^®, as well as spectacular fashion shows, culinary
events, flower shows and celebrity appearances. Macy's flagship stores --
including Herald Square in New York City, Union Square in San Francisco, State
Street in Chicago, Dadeland in Miami and South Coast Plaza in southern
California -- are known internationally and leading destinations for visitors.
Building on a more than 150-year tradition, and with the collective support of
customers, employees and Macy's Foundation, Macy's helps strengthen
communities by supporting local and national charities giving more than $70
million each year to help make a difference in the lives of our customers.

About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading market research firms,
leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant
insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll® and for
pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers proprietary
solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and
reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and
communications research. Harris possesses expertise in a wide range of
industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy,
telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant,
and consumer package goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of
multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing
our client's research investment. Serving clients in more than 196 countries
and territories through our North American and European offices, Harris
specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our
clients—stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit

SOURCE Reading Is Fundamental

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