Home' The River Weekly News : RWN 122515 Contents 21
THE RIVER - DECEMBER 25, 2015
by Shelley M.
a love o reading in
our children is one
of the very best gifts
we can give them. It
takes time to do that
and a supply of good
books. To help you
meet this goal, a wonderful organization
called Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) has a
unique gift for you and your children.
In 1966, RIF was the creation of
Margaret McNamara, whose experience
as a teacher convinced her that for many
kids, mostly poor ones, one of the main
barriers to proficient reading was simply
access to books. She created RIF with
some grant monies, and now RIF is the
largest literacy program in the country.
Reading Is Fundamental is a non-profit
group that provides hundreds of thou-
sands of free books annually to children
age 8 or younger, in particular those
from economically disadvantaged homes,
where books are a and in shorter supply.
RIF is dedicated to making reading a
fun and beneficial part of everyday life.
Since 1966, RIF has distributed more
than 412 million books to more than 40
million children nationwide, improving
their opportunity to read, learn and grow.
RIF just began its 50th year of busi-
ness and is honoring that milestone with
some new approaches and a increased
resolve to spread its message even with
the loss of about $24 million in annual
funding that it had come to count on.
With more than two-thirds of its budget
gone, RIF now needs more private con-
tributions and consequently, gives away
fewer books now than it once did.
RIF's determination to get kids to read
in whatever manner best accomplishes
that mission is very clear. Despite and
perhaps due to their dwindling funds, RIF
has signed on as a partner with ustyme,
a digital platform, which enables mul-
tiple users to read or play video games
together. RIF has partnered with ustyme
to give the gift of a billion free e-books to
the communities they serve. All families
across the nation can access 50 classic
e-books absolutely free, without adver-
tising or fees of any kind. This Billion
e-Book Gift will provide access to a digital
library of 50 previously selected children's
titles, many in Spanish as well as English.
Those titles can be downloaded by visiting
"Reading follows an upward spiral,"
said Daniel Willingham, a professor of
psychology at the University of Virginia
and the author of Raising Kids Who
Read, which was published earlier this
year. "Kids who read more get better at
reading, and because they are better at
reading, it's easier and more pleasurable
so they read still more. And kids who
read well don't just do better in English
class -- it helps them in math, science and
continued on page 23
Time For Some
by Jennifer Basey
to 2016 has
begun. If you're like
many people, you
might be mulling
over some New
such as hitting the
gym more, learning
a new language or
taking a cooking class. All are worthy
goals, but why not add some financial
resolutions as well?
• Pay yourself first. Even if you aren't
living "paycheck to paycheck," you prob-
ably don't have much trouble spending
your money -- because there's always
something that you or a family member
needs, always a repair required for your
home or your car, always one more bill to
pay. But if you are going to achieve your
long-term goals, such as a comfortable
retirement, you need to invest consis-
tently. So before you pay everyone else,
pay yourself first by having some money
automatically moved from your checking
or savings account each month into an
• Take advantage of your opportu-
nities. If you have a 401(k) or similar
plan at work, take full advantage of it.
Contribute as much as you can afford --
or at least enough to earn your employ-
er's match, if one is offered -- and choose
the mix of investments that give you the
potential to achieve the growth you need
at a level of risk with which you are com-
• Focus on the long term. In the short
term, you might be excused for not want-
ing to invest. The headlines are typically
scary, the financial markets are frequently
volatile and the future often looks murky.
Yet, if you can look past the uncertainties
of today and keep your focus on tomor-
row, you will find it easier to follow a dis-
ciplined investment strategy that gives you
the opportunity to meet your long-term
goals, such as a comfortable retirement.
• Don't be driven by fear. When the
market is down, investors tend to react
with fear. Specifically, they rush to sell
their investments, afraid that if they don't
"cut their losses," they might sustain even
bigger ones. If you can get past this feel-
ing, you may find that a down market
can offer you the chance to buy quality
investments at good prices.
• Forget about the "hot stocks."
You'll hear friends, co-workers and talk-
ing heads on television tout today's "hot
stocks." But by the time you might hear
about them, they may have cooled off
-- and, in any case, they might not be
appropriate for your needs. Forget about
"getting rich quick in the market" -- it
probably won't happen. True investment
success requires patience and persistence.
• Cut down on your debts. It's easy
to pile up debts, but a lot harder getting
rid of them. Yet, if you can reduce your
debt load even moderately, you'll free up
money you could use to invest. So look
for ways to conserve, cut back and con-
solidate -- it will be worth the effort.
Making these resolutions -- and stick-
ing to them -- can help you as you work
toward achieving your financial goals.
Jennifer Basey is a financial advisor
in Fort Myers. She can be reached at
During the month of November,
720,556 passengers traveled
through Southwest Florida
International Airport, an increase of 7.6
percent compared to November 2014.
Year-to-date, passenger traffic is up 4.6
percent from the same period last year.
The traffic leader in November was
Southwest with 144,114 passengers
traveling to and from Fort Myers.
Rounding out the top five airlines were
Delta (134,667), JetBlue (91,462), Spirit
(68,758) and US Airways (65,712).
Southwest Florida International Airport
continued on page 23
Fort Myers Tech Honors Graduates
Fort Myers Technical College has awarded eight of its graduates with the hon-
orary Excellence in Action award for success in their chosen fields of work.
Emmanuel Castillo, Danny Bonessi, Timothy Carter, Carlos Giraldo, Chris
Hadsock, Justin Mulligan, Bret Lai and Jeff Thelen, all eight of whom are employed
by Micro Control Systems, were recognized. The honor is awarded to those who
have represented excellence in action as a Fort Myers Technical College graduate
by excelling in his or her technical or career field.
The eight graduates completed the Electronic Technology or Air-Conditioning,
Refrigeration & Heating Technology programs offered at Fort Myers Technical
College. The graduates had the opportunity to become involved at Micro Control
Systems through the company's partnership with Fort Myers Technical College. Over
the years, Micro Control Systems has hired numerous Fort Myers Technical College
graduates, many of which have advanced within the company. Programs at the college
have given students the hands-on experience, creating qualified and trained workers
prepared to succeed in their chosen fields.
"The quality of the education received at Fort Myers Technical College shows in the
work the former students do here," said Ron Andersen, vice president of manufactur-
ing at Micro Control Systems "Their work is outstanding and demonstrates a thorough
knowledge of their field."
"The partnership between Micro Control Systems and Fort Myers Technical College
is invaluable, and as the demand for trained students continues to grow, as does this
continued on page 23
Chris Hadsock, Jeff Thelen, Justin Mulligan, Emmanuel Castillo, Carlos Giraldo, Bill
McCormick, Danny Bonessi, Bret Lai, Ron Andersen and Timothy Carter
The Children's Home Society of
Florida announced its Lee County
board of directors for the 2015-16
term. The board helps the organization
further serve Southwest Florida's most
vulnerable children and families through
advocacy and fundraising efforts.
"We're thrilled to partner with this
esteemed group of individuals," said Julie
Schneider, executive director of Children's
Home Society of Florida. "We're eager
to see the continued positive impact the
group has on the children and families of
Local board members include:
• Jacqueline Chang, The Chang
• Jeremy King, UBS Financial
Services, Inc. (vice chair)
• Jennifer Adkins, Chico's FAS Inc.
• Ivy Brown, Waterman Broadcasting
• Patti Dennis, Southern Technical
• Joshua Dorcey, The Dorcey Law
• Claude Lyles, Reliance Bank
• Shane Spring, VIP Realty & Spring
• Kevin Walsh, Gator Lanes
To learn more about Children's Home
Society of Florida's local leaders, visit
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