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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, International, International Development, Libraries, Primary & Elementary Schools, Scholarships, Scholarships & Student Financial Aid

Mission: Room to Read seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in low-income 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.

Results: Books Checked Out Per Student: 9.6; Books Published: 1,290; Girls' Education Program Participants: 38,750; Literacy Program Schools: 18,699; Books Distributed: 18 Million; Children Benefited: 10,700,000.

Target demographics: We envision a world in which all children can pursue a quality education, reach their full potential and contribute to their community and the world. Room to Read believes that World Change Starts with Educated Children.®

Direct beneficiaries per year: Room to Read benefits approximately one million children each year, and has benefited more than 10 million children to date.

Geographic areas served: Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Tanzania, Vietnam, and Zambia

Programs: Room to Read focuses on two objectives: Literacy and Gender Equality in Education. Our Literacy Program enables primary school children to become long-long, independent readers: •Room to Read’s Literacy Program transforms primary schools into child-friendly learning environments that enable children to develop the skills and habit of reading throughout primary school and become life-long, independent readers. Our intervention includes ensuring the school has a library with books in the children’s local language, as well as teachers and librarians who are trained in the best practices of reading and writing instruction. Key to our program is ensuring that families, communities and governments are all engaged in the transformation of the school and committed to its success. This includes working closely with governments to integrate library services and books into national government curriculum and instruction. Our Girls’ Education Program supports girls to complete secondary school with the skills necessary to negotiate key life decisions: • Room to Read’s Girls’ Education Program ensures that girls complete secondary school and have the skills to negotiate key life decisions. Our program reinforces girls’ commitment to their own education, works with girls to develop essential life skills and increases support for girls’ education among their parents, school staff, and communities. Key to our program are social mobilizers, local women who are hired as mentors and works with girls and their families to ensure that girls stay in school, participate in activities, and navigate the challenges of adolescence with the ability to make their own life choices both personally and professionally.

Community Stories

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

You Can Buy Happiness. You can buy happiness, not with currency, but with time invested in helping others. I come from a family that values volunteerism. I have volunteered most of my life, and most recently with Room to Read, a global non profit that focuses on literacy and gender equality in education in 10 countries in Africa and Asia. Learning to read launches the ability for a child to grow, learn, dream and become. Room to Read publishes books in the native languages of the countries they work in that reflect the local customs and culture. I have spent the last five years encouraging the youth in our highly educated community to become aware and engaged in the education of their peers on the other side of the globe. We encourage public speaking, event planning and creative fundraising to provide scholarships to girls, and books to kids through the Room to Read programs. I want to foster a lifelong sense of compassion and volunteering in the kids in our community, because true happiness comes through helping others. #thankstoeducation, Room to Read has given 10 million children the opportunity to reach their full potential through literacy. www.roomtoread.org

Review from #MyGivingStory

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I first learned about Room To Read after watching the documentary "Half the Sky" and immediately picked up John Wood's book, "Leaving Microsoft to Change the World." I was shocked to learn that over 790MM people (67% female) worldwide lack the ability to read and write. Therefore, putting them in a very disadvantaged position in terms of earning potential, being independent, and educating their own children.

The facts are simple, educated women have smaller, healthier families, earn more, help stimulate the economies of their underdeveloped countries, and are more likely to educate their own families. Therefore, investing in a girl's education can end the cycle of poverty in just one generation.

As a young woman, who's access to a quality education has had such a strong impact on my success and happiness, I believe it's important for us to do what we can to work towards a world where every child has the same opportunity.