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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Room To Read

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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

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Room to Read is committed to sustainable world change in every aspect of their operations. From the passionate talent that they recruit around the world to the ongoing innovation that defines their literacy and girls' education programs, Room to Read is a true leader in the non-profit sector. The leadership of the organization has set the bar for excellence high and Room to Read continues to meet the challenge in delivering life-changing educational opportunities to deserving children around the world.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with many international organizations, both large and small. Room to Read has found the most passionate and intelligent people from around the world who are dedicated to making a difference in the field of literacy and gender equality in education. And, this is especially true for the country office staff who implement the work on the ground. These are local teams who run in-country operations and not only know what is needed for their own country, but have a commitment to making the children in their country gain an education and be literate.

3 Melanie D.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I first heard about Room to Read five years ago. I contacted them immediately after reading an article about them, and have worked with them as a consultant ever since. I am also a Room to Read donor. I work with many non-profit organizations, and it's interesting to see how they are all run differently. Room to Read is special because they are incredibly efficient. They work much like a corporation in terms of reaching the highest levels of accountability. Everyone I have met at Room to Read is super professional, smart and fully engaged in their mission. As someone who has been able to look "under the hood," I can tell you that I'm even more convinced that Room to Read is one of the best social change organizations out there. With all the bad news we hear constantly, my involvement with Room to Read has given me an opportunity to see that good work and positive change is happening everyday.