Kendall Demonstration Elementary School (KDES), a day school serving deaf and hard of hearing students, hosted its fourth book distribution event of the school year May 31. KDES's book distribution events are made possible by a grant through Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), a national non-profit literacy organization. RIF delivers free books and literacy resources to children and families in underserved communities in the U.S. to encourage literacy and a love of reading among children. RIF has supported book distribution events at KDES since 2002. This particular event was made possible with support by Macy's department stores. KDES and the Model Secondary School for the Deaf, a residential high school program, are part of the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center (Clerc Center), which serves deaf and hard of hearing students from Washington, D.C. and nationwide. The Clec Center is located on Gallaudet University's Washington, D.C., campus. "The importance of reading cannot be stressed enough. It is essential to a child's success in school and the development of their language, comprehension, and critical thinking skills," said Ed Bosso, vice president of the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center. "We appreciate the continued support of RIF and the incredible contributions they make to students everywhere." The Clerc Center, a federally funded national deaf education center, ensures that the diverse population of deaf and hard of hearing students (birth through age 21) in the nation are educated and empowered and have the linguistic competence to maximize their potential as productive and contributing members of society. This is accomplished through early access to and acquisition of language, excellence in teaching, family involvement, research, identification and implementation of best practices, collaboration, and information sharing among schools and programs across the nation.