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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

LitWorld

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Elementary & Secondary Schools, International, International Development, Literacy

Mission: LitWorld's mission is to empower young people to author lives of independence, hope, and joy.

Programs: The organization works with locally based, grassroots organizations to run and expand literacy-based programs, building sustainable outcomes for young people and their communities around the world. The organization's programs are designed and written by staff members with support from consultants where needed. Local community leaders manage and lead the programs after receiving training and access to the organization's innovative curricula. The organization creates permanent positive change in the world by implementing these on-the-ground programs to address the hard-to-tackle challenge of illiteracy worldwide. The organization uniquely combines the power of children's own stores, access to diverse reading and writing experiences, peer-to-peer support networks and adult mentor relationships, which leads to productive and transformational literacy.

Community Stories

32 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

LitWorld is an organization that truly spreads the joy of reading and literacy throughout the United States and the world with its LitCamps and LitClubs. LitWorld partners with Scholastic books and mentoring organizations to raise awareness and spread the values that each person's story should be cherished and told!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

LitWorld is a great organization with amazing staff and volunteers who have been working tirelessly to cultivate literacy skills in the world’s most vulnerable children. LitWorld’s proven model for improving literacy allows children to feel comfortable, safe and excited about reading, writing and learning in ways that are not taught at school.

I have had the pleasure of partnering with LitWorld to establish an after-school enrichment center in Prishtina, Kosovo – and the LitClub program we adopted has been so effective and well received by everyone, that within a week, the number of children attending grew from 9 to over 50.

I am excited to be a member of this community and am looking forward to help grow the LitWorld movement. Everybody should join us!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The LitWorld organization has amazing staff and volunteers that work very hard to provide tools that allow people to share their stories around the world. Their tireless efforts can be seen in the events they throw and most importantly within the LitClubs around the world and Litcamps. I had the pleasure of volunteering at their World Read Aloud Day event and Stand Up for Girls event where I witnessed first hand the enthusiasm and joy of the kids that attended. All of their events are well organized and ran smoothly because the LitWorld staff prepares the volunteers beforehand with the logistics and program information. Every year Litworld continues to strive to be better than the year before with new ideas and embraces the benefits of new technology. No matter what changes they make, the LitWorld programs continue to empower youth to be confident and provide them with hope, strength, and a sense of belonging.

Mookie

Volunteer

Rating: 4

The folks at LitWorld bring so much love and enthusiasm to what they do and it really shows in their programming and interactions with the communities they serve. My recent experience volunteering for their Stand Up for Girls event was wonderful and it was great to see so many young girls tell their own stories and learning to describe themselves with the language of empowerment. Working with LitWorld gives me a lot of hope for the future and Pam Allyn is an incredibly inspiring person!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After reading about LitWorld online, I felt passionate about getting involved. As a volunteer, I quickly grew to love spending time with the LitClub girls in Harlem, as well as the staff. I remember vividly the first LitClub I attended and how impressed I was with the courage, love and support that radiated throughout the room as the high school girls exchanged stories about their lives, from personal triumphs and defeats to college applications. At this year's Stand Up for Girls event, I was happy to be a part of the friendship and community being built among the elementary and grade school girls. Now, as a member of LitWorld's Young Professionals Group, I look forward to being involved in more events and helping to grow the LitWorld movement. I'm thrilled to be a part of the LitWorld team!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience as a LitWorld Intern was positive and educational. I first had the opportunity to work in the office, primarily planning lessons for a summer LitCamp, and then worked as a LitCamp counselor. Throughout both experiences, the LitWorld staff was supportive, and took steps to help me grow as an educator.The organization works toward a very important mission with passion and care for all involved.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had a wonderful internship experience with LitWorld this summer, working both in the office with the full-time staff and in one of their LitCamp programs. Both work environments were serious but also loving and supportive. Each person's voice, from that of the youngest camper to that of most senior staff member to those of the summer interns, was valued, listened to, and honored. The work LitWorld does is important, and they do it with uncommon passion, sensitivity, and enthusiasm.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Working with LitWorld was a completely new and different experience for me, and one that I learned so much from. The collaboration among all the employees is astounding and makes the entire LitWorld family feel connected and united. Though the work is urgent and serious, the attitude is joyful, and this propels a spirit of kindness, love, and confidence into all their work, creating the atmosphere children need to keep reading, learning, and gaining strength.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My internship with LitWorld provided me with anything but the average intern experience. For the first month my peers and I had the opportunity to try our hands in many meaningful tasks and interact with incredible individuals involved in many aspects of social change. One of my favorite things about LitWorld is how collaborative they are, realizing where their talents are best suited and recognizing the talents of others in order to team up to create meaningful change. Beyond this, their commitment to authenticity and ensuring that their work takes on an organic form within the communities they are a part of is an integral part of who LitWorld is as an organization. The LitWorld staff is comprised of some of the most committed, compassionate, and thoughtful individuals I have ever had the pleasure to work with.

As a LitCamp intern I had the chance to work as a counselor for LitWorld’s Harlem LitCamp, which runs for 5 weeks during the months of July and August. My time as a LitCamp counselor was simply unforgettable. I was able to see the love for literacy and confidence of all of the campers soar within such a seemingly small period of time. Everything that LitWorld did was done with the best interests of the campers in mind, in order to create unforgettable experiences that many of them eagerly await each year. Seeing the campers’ transformations revealed to me that LitWorld has an incredible capacity to empower people in a way that all individuals and communities deserve.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

LitWorld is and will always be our favorite organization making a "world of difference"!! As parents and grandparents what could be more important to us than supporting and investing in an organization repairing the world through literacy.

Our LitWorld story begins while reading R.J. Palacio's WONDER. In a recent TV interview with Pam
Allyn, the reporter concluded with the question, what was her favorite current children's book - - the answer, the #1 New York Times Bestseller, WONDER!! Shortly thereafter, we read that beautiful book and discovered the perfect expression of our thoughts on the amazing work of LitWorld:

Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as you can.

__ John Wesley's Rule

Sincerely,

Deborah and Warren Clayman

Donor

Rating: 5

LitWorld is an idea that has grown from a conversation into a movement. The dream of spreading literacy around the world is becoming a reality. With new technology LitWorld is able to share its methods of teaching reading and writing to children everywhere. LitWorld trains community leaders to give children an opportunity to create a great and hopeful future for themselves through literacy and to tell their story to the world, no matter where they grew up or how poor they may be.
LitWorld is a well managed organization with big ideas that it effectively implements and turns into reality. The money raised is not used to pay a large administrative staff but primarily goes directly to promote education in underserved populations from Harlem to countries like Kenya, The Phillipines and Rwanda.
From the LitClubs where young girls share their stories and build strength to the Innovation Hubs where generations partner to improve their lives through reading and writing to LitCamps which provide a learning environment for the summer recess, education is thriving. Through literacy young people will be able to then tell their stories to their children who will be healthier both mentally and physically as they join the literate world.

Donor

Rating: 4

Given my love of reading and for education overall, the ability to assist children, who have not had the opportunities, guidance and motivation we have had, to learn to read, is a very strong inherent desire. Seeing children begin to appreciate new concepts and to realize a whole new world beyond what, for them, might otherwise be a most somber and negative existence, is extremely gratifying.

LitWorld maintains a tireless commitment to children in many places in the world, including right here in our backyards in the USA and continues to see fabulous levels of growth in the numbers of children so much benefitting from their programs. The staff and leadership are entirely selfless in providing such wonderful literacy opportunities to those who otherwise would be condemned to a life without hope or opportunity.

We look forward to continuing to support this fine organization and encourage all those who care about future generations in less fortunate areas of the world, who absolutely can have an impact on all of us, both good and/or bad, to take a look at what these folks are doing.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at two LitWorld galas and attended several of LitWorld's advocacy events as a participant. From these experiences, I can confidently recommend LW as an organization worth getting involved with.

LitWorld's mission is inspiring, their events are well organized, and their staff welcomes volunteers with warmth and gratitude. In managing our group of volunteers and interns, the LW staff came prepared with every detail planned and every task thoughtfully delegated. And yet, the staff was also very trusting of volunteers, allowing us to take initiative and act on instinct when faced with unexpected challenges. Overall, a great volunteer experience.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering at the Litworld Gala this year was a great experience. The Litworld staff were incredibly well-organized ... they held a training session for volunteers before the event, they had mapped out where every volunteer would be stationed, they had materials ready on the night of the gala to help volunteers, personal instructions for individual volunteers.... the works! They made volunteering at the gala easy and fun!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

LitWorld is a fantastic nonprofit that helps bring literacy to many underserved illiterate groups worldwide, and spreads a genuine love of reading. The enthusiasm of the employees is infectious and they are doing great work in NYC and abroad. I volunteered at their annual fundraising gala and was blown away by their level of organization and transparency-- not to mention their total commitment to their mission, to instill a love of reading in those who previously never had the chance to let it grow.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience working for LitWorld was beyond anything I would have expected. I was based in their offices in midtown NYC part time and at their partner site in Harlem. I felt immediately welcomed into a community of the most loving, driven, and passionate young women. The work we did together felt so meaningful. In harlem we ran a literacy camp for children from the community. I felt so fulfilled and really felt like I was making a difference. This summer internship has inspired me to keep working toward LitWorlds goal of literacy.
LitWorld is more than an organization it's a culture. I learned a new way to interact with people, share stories, and show passion. Though my summer internship is done I really feel like I can rely on the people I worked with and will constantly have a connection to this place.

Todd13

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I interned with this organization this summer and had an excellent experience. The LitWorld staff is organized, passionate, thoughtful, and dedicated to doing good domestically and internationally. Each individual has clearly internalized the mission to advocate for literacy as a human right. I was astounded by how collaborative the organization is; staff were constantly meeting with potential collaborators and fostering partnerships to achieve common goals.

As a camp counselor for LitWorld's Harlem Litcamp, I witnessed first-hand how the programming provided at no cost to the attendees brought learning, joy, and personal growth. As an intern, I felt quickly and deeply absorbed into the LitWorld culture. My time was not spent running errands, nor was I excluded during board meetings. I was assigned meaningful tasks and my input was valued. The staff worked hard in thoughtfully planning the internship, as they do for all of their programming, to ensure an excellent experience

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This summer I interned with LitWorld. My main responsibility was to help plan and execute their annual 5-week LitCamp in Harlem, NY. Throughout the course of the internship the staff went out of their way to help me understand the work of the organization and feel like a member of the LitWorld family. They exposed me to other aspects of their work that interested me besides the LitCamp and truly wanted my input on different projects and proposals. As a college student, I felt that this internship went above and beyond a typical internship in that I had a clearly-defined and important role, I received a lot of attention, and my time was always structured and well-used. LitWorld does beautiful and inspiring work in a creative way and I adored my time with them this summer.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

LitWorld is transforming the lives of Children and Girls in Ghana. LitWorld has formed Girls Clubs in 3 Regions in Ghana. Namely Greater Accra,Ashanti Region and Brong Ahafo Region. GADeF has learnt many lessons from LitWorld through it collaboration in the project. It is no doubt that, in the years ahead LitWorld clubs will be established in all the 10 regions in Ghana. We believe in the future of these children and will use this platform to share the success stories of LitWorld works in Ghana. With your support to LitWorld, Ghana and Africa will be transformed with brighter future for Girls and Children as a whole.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I interned with LitWorld this past summer and have not stopped bragging about the organization since then. The duality of my internship introduced me to both the administrative side of LitWorld as well as engaged me in the organization's physical mission of promoting literacy as I spent time in both the office as well as at a partner site with children in Harlem. As a workplace, LitWorld is what I consider a safe space in that it fosters an inclusive environment that encourages self-expression in order to cultivate creativity. This atmosphere reflects LitWorld's commitment to everyone's right to tell his or her own story. Perhaps the most appealing part of LitWorld is that every one of its staff members truly believes in the organization's purpose which is how such a small nonprofit has been so effective and inspiring.