Let's change
the world

Room to Read works in collaboration with communities and local governments across Asia and Africa to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school with the life skills they’ll need to succeed in school and beyond.

Establish a great library that inspires
generations of new readers.

You can establish a great school library including educational puzzles and games, child-sized furniture, colorful, print-rich decorations and best of all, shelves full of local-language books.

Putting the library in place is only the first step. Once it’s complete, we work with school administration to ensure that children have ample time during school to explore the new resource and train teachers to effectively utilize the library materials to support the curriculum.

The community is challenged to invest in its new library. Parents, community leaders, and school administration contribute to the project by providing labor and materials. The completed library is owned and operated entirely by the community in partnership with the local education officials, who are responsible for all upkeep and staffing. Room to Read provides three years of initial training along with ongoing support to get the library up and running, and lay the foundation for long-term sustainability.

Support a School Library project »

Build a school in Laos,
Nepal or Sri Lanka.

Adequate schools are often scarce in developing countries—especially in rural areas. Room to Read partners with communities to construct bright, safe, child-friendly classrooms so children have a better opportunity to pursue a quality education in an environment conducive to learning.

Room to Read shares project management responsibilities with each partner community. Through our Challenge Grant, community members co-invest in the project by providing cash, materials or “sweat equity,” setting the stage for long-term sustainability, and success.

Support a School Room project »

  • Invest
    with confidence

  • Only 3% of nonprofits have received six consecutive Charity Navigator four star ratings. Our transparency and accountability place us among the best charities.
  • We have staff deployed around the globe to conduct rigorous research and monitor program effectiveness.

Publish an original
children’s book in one
of 25 local languages.

One of the greatest challenges to early adoption of the habit of reading in developing countries is a lack of high-quality, age-appropriate children's books in the local language. Our local language books are designed to engage readers on their terms. We publish a diverse range of storybooks that can be enjoyed by readers at various levels and are designed to capture students' imaginations. Our local language books have consistently been recognized over the years for their superior quality, having received several national book awards, industry praise and even the UNESCO 2011 Confucius Prize for Literacy.

Support a Local Language Book project »

$1 = 1 book

At Room to Read, a little money goes a long way. Our Local Language Books are developed, printed and distributed in country, supporting local talent, keeping costs extremely low and providing high-quality, locally-relevant content.

Provide a wall of books: $100


The most effective investment is one that improves all aspects of a child’s education. Make your gift unrestricted and we’ll allocate your investment across all the educational programs Room to Read provides to communities that partner with us.

Make an unrestricted gift »

When you educate a girl,
everything changes.

Educating girls is the most powerful and effective way to address global poverty. Finishing secondary school leads to smaller, healthier families, lower HIV infection rates, and higher wages. Educated women are more likely to educate their own children – ending the cycle of illiteracy in one generation. Room to Read ensures girls get the material and emotional support they need to succeed in school and beyond through a holistic approach that includes academic support, mentoring and life skills training.

Support one girl for a year: $250

Getting to
school safely

Students often walk 20 kilometers or more to get to school every day. A bus pass or bicycle can make a world of difference, increasing attendance and keeping girls safer on the long journey to and from school.

Provide the cost of a bicycle for a girl: $50

Going the

For every year a girl stays in school, her infant mortality rate decreases by 10%, her wages increase by 20% and her odds of contracting diseases like HIV decrease dramatically.

Sponsor a decade of Girls' Education: $2,500
Books Checked Out per Student
Literacy Program Schools
Books Published
Books Distributed
18 Million
Girls' Education Participants
Children Benefited
Charity Navigator Four Start Rating

Less than 1% of US nonprofits have received nine consecutive Charity Navigator four star ratings. Our transparency and accountability place us among the best charities. See for yourself.

Our Financials »

See our work

Documentary filmmakers travel to Room to Read projects across Asia and Africa to tell the stories of children who are benefitting from our programs.

Browse films »

See our work in person »

You can change the world

Send a girl to school, start a library, or build new classrooms. We can help you run your own fundraising campaign with your friends and family, complete with your own microsite to collect gifts and track your progress.

Personal Fundraising »

Check out a great campaign »

Have questions?

Contact us online at

Global Office:
+1 (415) 839-4400
9am-5pm Pacific Time (US)
Mon-Fri, excluding holidays

See all offices »