Room To Read

Rating: 4.93 stars   59 reviews

Issues: Education, International

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

Mission: 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.
Results: 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
Programs: 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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EIN 91-2003533
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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