Room To Read

Rating: 4.94 stars   67 reviews


111 Sutter St. 16th Floor San Francisco CA 94104 USA


Room to Read seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in developing countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Working in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments, we develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school with the relevant life skills to succeed in school and beyond.


Schools constructed: 1,442 Libraries established: 11,246 Books published: 553 Books distributed: 9.4 million Girls supported: 10,590 Children benefited: 5.1 million

Target demographics:

Students in need of library resources and local language reading materials; and Girls at-risk of dropping out of secondary school

Direct beneficiaries per year:

5.1 million children in primary and secondary school

Geographic areas served:

Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Vietnam, and Zambia


Room to Read focuses on two objectives: Literacy and Gender Equality in Education. Our Literacy program enables primary school children to become independent readers: • Room to Read focuses its efforts on developing reading skills and the habit of reading in primary school aged children because literacy is the foundation for all future learning. We do this primarily by establishing multi-lingual libraries, increasing access to age-appropriate and culturally relevant reading materials (including publishing our own original local language children’s books), and improving the child friendliness of the school environment. We’ve recently increased our support for reading instruction including creating materials and providing training for teachers. Our Girls’ Education program supports girls to complete secondary school with the skills necessary to negotiate key life decisions: • Room to Read focuses on girls transitioning to or in secondary school because that is where the biggest – and most permanent – gaps in gender equality in education take place. We do this primarily through supporting girls to attend school, providing female mentoring and creating more girl-friendly school environments. We’ve recently added more emphasis on teaching life skills to girls so they will finish school and maximize their opportunities.

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Reviews for Room To Read

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Over the last twenty years I have worked with and volunteered for countless nonprofit organizations that work domestically and internationally. I can say with confidence I have never been more impressed with and proud to be a part of the Room to Read family. Five years ago the company I work for was searching for a global nonprofit focused on literacy we could partner with as our long term pro bono partner. The criteria we set for our partner was high and the search was extensive. After reading Leaving Microsoft to Change the World our leaders could see the organization operates much like a business – they focus on measured results, efficiency and scalability. They are also a “learning organization,” meaning they listen to and observe the communities and the individuals they serve so that they can always improve. Given their approach, it’s no surprise their passionate and dedicated staff have brought access to education to nearly 8 million children in just over a decade. With a belief that world change starts with educated children, all of the employees, donors and volunteers can be confident their efforts are indeed making a difference.

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