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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

6 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been involved with Room to Read for many years both as a volunteer and a donor. My background is in publishing so helping to improve literacy in third world countries is something dear to my heart. Room to Read is extremely well run and has been able to help millions of underprivileged young people throughout the world. The trickle down effect of this will be immense in years to come. Kaybat

Donor

Rating: 5

I first became aware of Room to Read through a friend who initially volunteered with them, and is now a Chapter Leader. I found John Wood's book to be inspirational, and have lent it to friends to spread the word. I initially fundraised for Room to Read by running a marathon, and recently have contributed part of my wedding gifts to them. I have chosen my donations to go to Girl's Education as I am a fervent believer in equal opportunities in education which unfortunately are not reflected everywhere.
Room to Read is an efficient, effective charity that follows through on its promises, from the very small to the world changing.

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been involved with Room to Read for over 10 years. Having worked with John Wood at Microsoft, I never doubted Room to Read's ability to achieve -- and often exceed -- every ambitious goal they've ever set. That's one reason why I've been involved for so long, but there's so many others... Room to Read is incredibly effective & efficient, there's amazing transparency and incredible dedication & passion in the professionals and volunteers involved with the organisation. Most importantly for me, the way Room to Read engages with the communities they work in is nothing short of inspirational . Yes Room to Read builds schools, libraries, and give scholarships but for me their most enduring legacy is hope and optimism. That's why I am such a HUGE fan.

Donor

Rating: 5

I invested in the building of four separate libraries in Cambodia since 2010. I was attracted to Room to Read mainly due to the self help model where 15% of the funds required came from the local community giving them ownership and pride in the project - ensuring sustainability.
Education of the youth in these developing countries, in my view, gives the best bang for your buck. (Teach a man to fish)
The fact that I was able to dedicate each library to a loved one with a dedication plaque on the inside wall, was the deal closer.
I visited Cambodia in Feb 2014 with my wife and so so happy with the local Room to Read organisation I invested in another library. Amazing work by Room to Read.

Dave - Sydney, Australia

Donor

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to visit a Room to Read school in India and all I can say is WOW!!! To see the impact that the organization makes on so many children's lives every day is truly amazing. Very well-run org with high quality staff doing great work. Happy to be a supporter of their efforts to increase literacy around the world.

Donor

Rating: 5

I discovered the work of Room to Read when I first saw the film "Half the Sky," and I started to follow their work. I love where they work, what they work on and, in particular, their impact on bringing young girls access to education.

I am a donor and will be for the rest of my life. These guys are meeting a serious need.